There have been many changes over the last four months for Mitchell West.
On Jan. 23, 2018, he was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease and on April 21 he received his first stem cell treatment.
Family and friends have joined together and are hosting a benefit May 19 at the Newton Grove Fire Department. From 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., there will be a chicken and BBQ plate sale, followed by gospel music featuring the Dixie Travelers at 6 p.m. and an auction at 7 p.m.
This benefit will assist with West’s medical costs associated with the treatments. In the United States, there are two treatment options, but one costs approximately $150,000 per year.
Outside of the United States, many countries are finding that stem cell treatment is helping slow the progress of ALS and it helps the patient recover the use of their limbs and breathing. West recently traveled to Mexico and underwent his first three-hour cell treatment.
According to his family, from January until April, West went from dragging his foot to being totally dependent upon a walker and a wheelchair. He requires assistance with daily activities like brushing his teeth, getting dressed and getting something to eat and drink.
West has worked with Salem Transportation, but due to his continued worsening of his health, he stopped working in December.
Most ALS patients are given 2-5 years to live after their diagnosis. Those who suffer from this disorder begin losing control of their muscles and therefore they lose the ability to talk, speak, swallow and eventually breath. Patients often die of suffocation due to the difficulty breathing.