Eelco is 48-years-old, he was born in Delft and brought up with his younger brother, Wietze, in Zoetermeer. Eelco and Ciske have been a pair since the summer of 2003, a blended family. Eelco has a son, Randy (19) and Ciska has 2 sons, Dylan (20) and Wesley (17).
Our blended family went on holiday together to France for the first time in the summer of 2004. In mobile homes at 2 different campsites and, as the cherry on the top, 2 days at Disneyland Paris. What should have been a super holiday ended in a nightmare. During the holiday Eelco suffered from more and more problems, he tripped over, his hands became weaker and the right-side of his body slowly ceased to function. Neighbours at the camping were worried and advised him to see a doctor, but Eelco only wanted to see a doctor in the Netherlands; with hindsight this was the right choice.
The journey home had never before taken so long. Once back in the Netherlands, a doctor’s appointment and a stay in hospital followed. It was clear after a couple of days that Eelco had Multiple Sclerosis. Eelco recovered well after treatment with Prednison and a 2-week stay in hospital. Apart from a few symptoms, his body worked again. Difficult years followed with Eelco’s health declining and, in 2009, Eelco landed in a wheelchair.
How does Eelco cope?
All very scary, but does Eelco allow the illness to get him down? Except for certain moments when it is difficult, NO he does not! Always with a smile on his face, always ready for a joke (sometimes annoyingly so according to the children), his ability to laugh at himself and his positive attitude keep him going. Naturally Eelco has his downs but his positive attitude ensures that there is plenty of room for fun and love in our lives, despite his limitations.
We are also very grateful to Eelco’s employer, The Bouwhof in Zoetermeer, for the adapted work station for Eelco. Eelco still goes to the Bouwhof where he works for 2.5 hours every day, he enjoys working there at the service desk. We are certain that Eelco’s health would decline much faster without his job.
But, after years of relative stability, we have noticed that Eelco is again slowly getting worse. He has even more difficulty walking, and now his hands are getting worse, he becomes tired quicker and he is less stable. Eelco is now in the secondary progressive form of MS (SPMS), and there is no treatment for it here in the Netherlands. There is only 1 chance to stop the MS for Eelco and that is the HSCT treatment.
HSCT aims to stop the further progression of MS, any improvements that occur are extras. More information about the treatment can be found under the HSCT heading and MS will be of course be further explained.
TIME FOR ACTION! Eelco must go to Mexico to stop the MS.