Hastings woman Hebie Capill is "excited but wary" about leaving for Mexico to undergo a high risk treatment to halt the progression of her multiple sclerosis.
Capill, 50, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2009 and the disease slowly but surely took an aggressive hold of her.
On October 12, she will fly to Mexico to undergo invasive and high risk chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in Mexico at Clinica Ruiz, after the public, friends and family pitched in to help her raise the necessary funds.
The HSCT treatment, which is not funded in New Zealand, is the only treatment known to halt the progression of MS.
The four-week treatment in Mexico will harvest her stem cells, and replace them after chemotherapy which will wipe out her immune system.
"It means a lot to me to see that people care. I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who contributed and I am extremely, extremely grateful.
"Without people helping me I wouldn't have got there."
She needed to raise $90,000 to undergo the treatment and the public, through Givealittle, and personal donations raised approximately $40,000.
"When I first thought of the amount to be raised I wasn't sure people would help. But they did."
For the remainder of the funds Capill has taken a loan out and she is cashing in on her KiwiSaver as well.
"It's an illness you can't get rid off, but I have to try."
MS is a condition which affects the brain and spinal cord.
The coating that protects nerves is damaged, which means vision can become blurred and it impacts on how you move, think and feel.
Capill said the first few years of MS were bearable for her. She started off at a 3 out of 10 (walking) on the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS).
But she has progressive secondary MS, and is no longer eligible for drugs funded in New Zealand. She's now at a seven and a half on the EDSS (not walking).
She has lost her sight and is confined to a wheelchair and is hoping the treatment would mean a better future for her.
"I am truly hoping I will be able to read again. If that was possible, it would be awesome.
"I also keep losing my train of thought, brain fog. It would be great if I could remember.
"Hopefully, after the treatment, I won't be this tired. I sleep 12 hours a day. It would be cool to concentrate again for 15 minutes."
Capill will be accompanied by her sister Sonja van Seventer to Mexico and she's expecting to return to New Zealand by November 12.
"I will be recovering for months afterwards, and people will have to wear a mask and use hand sanitiser every time they come to see me, because of my low immunity", but she's crossing her fingers and hoping it will be worth it.