The tickets are bought and the fundraising has almost come to an end; Briar Novis' family has raised enough money to get her to Russia for the stem-cell treatment she needs.

After being diagnosed with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis four years ago, Novis went through a dramatic decline.

Over the past few months she lost the use of her legs and needed a walking frame to get around.

Fundraising has reached $65,000 and tickets to Moscow have been bought for Briar and her mother, Cherry Novis.


Briar's partner Kelvin will also make the journey.

"Basically, we want to thank the people of Whanganui for getting in totally behind her and allowing this to happen," said Cherry Novis.

"We can never thank them enough for what they've done. I knew we'd get there but I just can't believe how great people have been."

They will leave on October 14 and after arriving the next day Briar goes straight to hospital, Cherry Novis said.

The treatment is not available in New Zealand but has been used in Russia, and other parts of the world, since the 1960s.

For four days Briar will undergo chemotherapy. Then stem cells from her bone marrow will be collected and stored.

Once this is complete, her immune system will be disrupted and the bone marrow stem cells replaced.

The therapy takes five weeks with about nine days in isolation. When Briar returns home after treatment she will be kept in isolation for three months, and won't get her whole immune system back for around two years.


Cherry said Briar was having difficulty with fatigue after going off her medication.

"She's gone off her medication. She had to go off three months beforehand and she's starting to slip a little bit.

"She's starting to get extremely tired but that's just what happens. To get her better we've got to go through this."

Briar was still working at the Countdown on Victoria Ave, and could be seen around the store with her walking frame telling customers were to find items.

The fundraising continued as the family tried to reach their goal of $70,000 needed for the treatment.

All accommodation and flights are being paid for by the family.

There will be a quiz at the Red Lion at 6pm on Saturday and some tickets were still available.

On September 7 there will be hypnotists performing at the Opera House that is also part of the fundraising.

Cherry Novis has also donated some art that she hopes to auction off and raise further funds for the trip.

And there's a raffle running until August 9.