Ashley Berini was only 27 years old when doctors gave her the worst news possible – she had Multiple Sclerosis.
It was 2009 when her first symptoms appeared and she went bling in her right eye in the middle of a biochemistry presentation.
“It was really hard to digest and I was in denial, probably still am in denial. I was so shocked," Ashley tells Be.
Now aged 33, Ashley has gone through multiple different treatments so far, but none have been successful in helping combat the affects of the disease.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive condition of the central nervous system, interfering with nerve impulses within the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.
"I recently got new results back from my MRI and spinal scans and they showed that the disease is progressing. I have five new lesions in my brain and a few in my spine," she says.
“I have sporadic relapses where my abdomen flares up. The pain is excruciating to the point where I've been repeatedly rushed to the hospital,” she explains.
“It turns out I have a lesion in my spinal chord that blocks the blood supply to my abdomen.”
There is currently no cure for MS, but Ashley is desperately raising money to do a trial treatment called Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT).
But because it’s currently not an approved therapy in Australia, the high cost of the treatment is not subsidised by the government.
“The success rates and results are extraordinary, where people's MS has essentially become dormant and neuron repair is occurring,” she wrote on a Gofundme page she's set up to pay for the treatment.
“Many patients no longer experience relapses, they become symptom free and most importantly it stops the disease from progressing.”
Worried that she’s running out of time to have the future she’s always dreamed of, Ashley is calling on the public to help her reach her fundraising goal.
“As I get older and my disease continues to progress, I worry that time is not on my side,” she says.
“I’m hoping the HSCT procedure will give me the opportunity to become healthy enough to live without medication and have the option of one day having children.”