I am writing on behalf of Nathaniel Kucera for your compassionate consideration of his health care needs. I have been his physician for a long time and was recently involved with his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, the relapsing remitting variant. His symptoms have included paraparesis, impaired gait and neurogenic bladder.
Over the past year, he has had three severe relapses, each requiring hospitalization and intravenous steroids. His exacerbations have been more frequent, with two in the last three months. This takes a tremendous toll on him and his family — physically, mentally, emotionally and financially.
He would be an excellent candidate for the stem cell treatment program at Northwestern, and has been deemed an appropriate patient for this treatment. According to my review of the literature, the data supports an 81% response.
Nathaniel is an active young man with a bright future ahead of him. Each relapse leaves him debilitated, and has been a serious burden from which he has a hard time recovering. He deserves every opportunity to improve his health, and is motivated to participate in the stem cell treatment.
Please reconsider your denial of this treatment, which will likely offer him the most benefit.
Karen B. Weinstein, MD, FACP
Editor’s note: This was written before the stem cell treatment Nathan Kucera received, which has had positive results. Since Blue Cross has denied payment, the family held a fundraiser at Ascension recently, attended by 275 people, which raised $30,000. The procedure’s total cost is $125,000.