A Fife man is travelling to Mexico to undergo pioneering treatment which he hopes will help his multiple sclerosis (MS).
Barry Bloomfield (44) was diagnosed with MS 13 years ago and as his condition has slowly deteriorated he has decided to undergo stem cell treatment but is having to go abroad as the NHS decided he didn’t fit the criteria to have it in the UK.
The cost of travelling to the private hospital in Puebla is around £50,000 and Barry has sold his house in Kirkcaldy and moved back to his parents in Markinch to pay for the treatment.
The family is now fundraising to help with the costs.
Barry’s mum Margaret said: “Since his diagnosis Barry has done really well to manage his condition.
“He’s kept working when he can and he’s never claimed benefits because he said that there is someone who needs it more than he does.
“His work have been great with him and if he’s too ill to travel to work they’ll let him work from home.”
It was just before Christmas that Barry started to research haematopoietic stem cell transplantation treatment
“He’s looked into it a lot,” Margaret said, “He’s investigated all the possibilities and was weighing up all his options.
“Treatments in Moscow and Mexico were the two that fell into his price range, but if he’d decided on Moscow he would probably had to have waited until next year.
“He’d never really mentioned doing anything like this before but now he’s decided that the time is right.”
Margaret will accompany Barry for his month-long treatment, acting as his carer, and the pair are flying out on June 17.
Barry will then undergo the same treatment at the same hospital as former BBC correspondent Caroline Wyatt who has since said she feels better than she has in a long time and her “brain fog began to lift”.
Margaret said: “He’s using all the money from the sale of his house and any savings he has to pay for this treatment.
“We’re helping out as well, but we’re pensioners and we’re not rich people.”
In order to help with costs Barry has begun a You Caring page, the family recently raised £300 from a garage sale and are now holding a fundraising charity dance night at Markinch Bowling Club from 7.30pm on April 1.
“We’ve had donations from local businesses and friends and neighbours have been giving us money,” Margaret said.
“Everyone has been incredibly generous. It’s been overwhelming.”
You can make a donation online at www.youcaring.com/barrybloomfield-736164, or to buy a ticket for the fundraising night at a cost of £6, call 01592-751867.