It's a case of steady as she goes for multiple sclerosis battler Nikki Regnault.

The mother-of-three, who has returned to Greytown after months spent undergoing stem cell treatment in Singapore, says she starts each day with new-found energy and has to sometimes remind herself not to overdo it.

"I have to walk the talk and remind myself it's about taking it slow and steady," Mrs Regnault said.

"There's been a big change in my energy levels and I'm just so much more 'up and at it'."


While the treatment can not eradicate the multiple sclerosis, the family hope the treatment, which destroys the body's immune system through chemotherapy before returning the patient's own stem cells, had stopped the disease in its tracks.

Her doctor was "rapt" with her results so far, but a MRI scan in a year's time would reveal if the disease had caused any new lesions.

After the intensive treatment, which included long periods of isolation in hospital, Mrs Regnault spent about a month convalescing with her parents in Carterton before returning home to Greytown last month.

While she is now allowed to do most day-to-day activities, she has to be wary of catching any bugs until she is fully vaccinated next year and is not yet able to return to her job at Greytown School.

The treatment is not yet available in New Zealand and Mrs Regnault benefited from a huge fundraising effort by friends, family and the wider community to help pay for the overseas treatment.

It had been tough at times and she could not have managed it without the support of her husband, Wayne, and their friends and family, Mrs Regnault said.

"I was so lucky because I had the most incredible support over there and back here.

"Of course it was scary. You are going into the unknown and the system in Singapore is so different . . . but I knew that the kids were in the best hands that they could be in, and I've got to give the biggest thanks to Wayne because he has been an unbelievable rock.

"My family and friends have been incredible, words can't explain it."

One of the hardest things was being separated from her children for so long, she said. "Our saving grace was Skype and we Skyped every day and that was my lifesaver.

"I absolutely lived for that."

She had been talking with Carterton's Nick Perkins, who has recently started a Givealittle campaign for stem cell treatment, and hopes to help with his fundraising efforts.

"I want to be able to be a part of his journey. All those little things that you learn along the way and that's my goal, being able to help him out."

"I'd love to be a part of that."