It was one of those stories we love to publish.
Briar Williams, formerly Novis, received radical stem cell treatment in Moscow to treat her relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis.
One year on she is no longer using a walking frame or losing her balance.
Her energy levels are up and her memory is improving.
She's even exercising regularly again.
And the best part is that Briar found love and married her partner Kelvin last October.
• 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
Briar still has RRMS but it's in remission, which means it may come back, but then again it may not.
She is buoyed by others with whom she chats to on social media and who have had the same treatment. Some have gone 10 years without relapse.
The treatment cost Briar $80,000 much of which the Whanganui community helped raise.
But it raises the question why, if the treatment is so successful, it is not available locally, or even in New Zealand.
Briar says her neurologist was against the Moscow treatment at first, but had changed his mind since seeing her dramatic improvement.
It involves the removal of her stem cells and bringing her immune system down to zero ahead of treatment with chemotherapy. The stem cells are then replaced.
This does not sound like a procedure that is beyond New Zealand's expertise to offer.
RRMS is said to effect one in 1000 people so the demand would appear to warrant at least further investigation.
Let's hope so, because as Briar has shown, life does not have to be full of pain and suffering when effective treatments exist.
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