Just over a year ago, Briar Williams was humbled to receive $80,000 - raised largely in Whanganui - that enabled her to go abroad to receive a stem-cell treatment.
Williams (formerly Novis) was diagnosed with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) six years ago and a year before her treatment she went through a dramatic decline.
Losing her balance easily and not being able to walk properly, Williams resorted to using a walking frame when moving around.
One year on and Williams has a new lease of life and is remaining positive.
"I just want Whanganui to know that they did help me and it did work, it wasn't a waste of time."
Williams travelled to Moscow where she spent 30 days in hospital.
• Briar Novis doing well in isolation after stem-cell treatment in Russia
• Whanganui MS sufferer Briar Novis on the mend and on her way home
• Whanganui woman back to work after stem-cell treatment and recovery
• Briar Novis humbled by $80,000 raised by Whanganui community
As part of the treatment, doctors removed her stem cells and gave her four lots of chemotherapy over four days to get her immune system down to zero.
She was then put in isolation, had her stem cells replaced and then had time to recover.
"The immune system takes two years to build back up and hopefully it doesn't come back but I still have RRMS - it's just in remission."
Whanganui woman healthy enough to return to work after stem-cell treatment
MS sufferer in isolation after Russian treatment
Williams said she had to be careful with her body but she was staying healthy and positive.
One of the highlights in the past year was marrying her husband, Kelvin.
"They take it as the day I got my stem cells back was day zero so that's when my new life started, so we got married on my first birthday which was October 26, 2019."
Williams said initially she was able to walk again properly but, due to exercising on a cross-trainer, she pulled all her muscles so is now having to rebuild her strength again.
"Turns out after chemo you're really weak and I didn't think of that so I'm kind of just slowly getting back up."
But her everyday life has changed and she is finding she is able to do a lot more.
"RRMS has a whole lot of invisible things people don't see and they're just about all gone so it's great. I just feel normal."
A person diagnosed with RRMS may suffer from mumbled speech, memory loss and feel fatigued all the time, but Williams said these symptoms were starting to fade.
"It can come back but hopefully it doesn't. I've been on a Facebook page with heaps of people from all around the world that have done [the treatment] and they're like four to 10 years through it and they're fine."
She said her neurologist was against her going to Moscow when she first thought of it as an option but was now in full support after seeing how life changing it had been for Williams.
Six months ago when Williams went for an MRI scan, her neurologist compared the scan with the one she had after the treatment and found there had been no changes and no scars on her brain, showing her RRMS is still in remission.
After her next MRI scan Williams will continue to have an annual scan but is confident the treatment will work long-term.