Nick Perkins is looking to a revolutionary stem cell treatment to give him the chance to be a regular Dad.

Carterton resident Nick, 32, was diagnosed with multiple scelerosis (MS) 18 months ago, causing impaired co-ordination, blurred vision and crippling fatigue.

His best shot at recovery is hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) which halts progression of the disease.

As HSCT is not available for MS patients in New Zealand, Nick has been accepted to receive the procedure in Singapore -- which comes with a $130,000NZ price tag.


To fund his treatment, flights and accommodation, Nick and wife Danielle have started a Givealittle page, hoping to raise $200,000.

A daunting task, but one the IT technician is determined to complete for his sons, Thomas, 4, and Lachlan, 2.

"It's pretty massive," Nick said.

"It seems like an impossible task at the moment, but we've just got to do it.

"I don't want to look back in 10 years and wish we'd done more to make it happen.

"I want to have fun with my kids, and be a dad."

Nick's health began to deteriorate June 2014, starting with loss of vision in his left eye .

"That was a scary thing to wake up to," he said.

"I had to go to work, and pretend everything was okay."

An optometrist diagnosed him with optic neuritis, and referred him for an MRI.

When the MS diagnosis was confirmed, it was "hard to fathom".

"I knew hardly anything about it -- and everything you read online is worst-case scenario."

Nick has relapsing and remitting MS, where symptoms can flare up after a period of recovery.

He receives daily injections of a disease-modifying drug to keep symptoms at bay, but finds it gives him little respite.

"It's hard to explain to people, as I don't look sick -- but I have pain in my legs, my balance is off, my vision is terrible.

"The tiredness is the worst, and the summer has really knocked me around.

"We've had beautiful sunny weekends, but the last thing I've felt like doing is going outside with the boys."

After being told the MS could land him in a wheelchair within five to 10 years, he began researching HSCT as an option.

The treatment removes fresh stem cells from a patient's bone marrow, destroys malignant cells with chemotherapy, then transplants the removed cells back into the patient.

Receiving the same procedure in Singapore this month is Greytown's Nikki Regnault, who funded her treatment with support from her community.

HSCT does not resolve all MS symptoms and has an 85 per cent chance of success -- but Nick is heartened by reading patients' accounts of improved energy.

"If it doesn't help the other symptoms but my fatigue drops, then I can cope -- for my kids' sake.

"The boys are the driving force, and that's what makes it so terrifying.

"It's a serious treatment and things can go wrong, so I have to keep that in mind.

"But if it wasn't for the boys, I wouldn't be going through with it."

Nick's Givealittle page has, as of the end of last week, raised more than $3200, and his family is planning other fundraisers.

Pak n Save Masterton is also offering customers the chance to donate to Nick's treatment at the checkout.

If you wish to donate to Nick Perkins' Givealittle page, go to