Eye West Vision Clinic – with locations in Rogers and St. Michael – is hosting a blood drive to honor one of their own employees who, for the last three years, has been fighting a rare disease that attacks the immune and neurological systems.
The blood drive to honor Kelly Myers, of St. Michael, is set for Wednesday, August 5th from noon to 6 p.m. at the Eye West Rogers location. Appointments can be made with the Red Cross via this link. The Rogers location is located at 13900 Northdale Blvd, just off of County Road 144.
Myers was, eventually, diagnosed with Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy. Here’s her story:
“In 2011 I began noticing some pins and needles feeling in my right foot along with some ankle weakness. I was mistakenly diagnosed with lower back issues that they thought were the cause of the foot and weakness problems. Throughout the next two years; my disease progressed to other limbs. I was bounced around from one doctor to another and left all of them scratching their heads. Eventually I was sent to the Minneapolis Clinic of Neurology where I was finally diagnosed with CIDP.
What is CIDP? Chronic . It is a rare auto-immune, neurological condition. In a nutshell; the immune system mistakes the nerves connecting the arms and legs to the brain and spinal cord for an intruder causing damage to the myelin sheath that protects the nerve. Early symptoms include a pins and needles feeling and pain and numbness/weakness in the extremities. At this time there is no cure for CIDP but treatments like IVIG therapy with Immunoglobulin can help.
With the help of a home healthcare nurse, I currently am receiving 90 Grams of intravenous Immunoglobulin biweekly. IVIG is a plasma product used in the treatment of certain conditions related to the immune system. This treatment is approved for use in people with immune deficiencies, autoimmune diseases, some inflammations, and infections. The critical component in IVIG is Immunoglobulin-G, also known as IgG. This substance helps the body build long-lasting antibodies to fight disease. In people with immune deficiencies like mine, it can help to bolster the immune system, allowing the body to fight disease more effectively. The numbers are varying, but for me in general, I have been told that it can take between 25,000 to 30,000 blood donations per year to support 1 year of treatment for me alone.
I am so grateful to EyeWest for recognizing the need for this event, and to those of you supporting the Red Cross today and beyond. It is so important to the lives of people like me.”