Marina returns home after stem cell treatment
By Mary Dennehy
TALLAGHT mother Marina Jordan Killoran returned home this week after undergoing life-changing treatment in the States, a dream made possible by the public’s generosity and support.
After two months in Chicago, Marina arrived home on Monday after receiving a form of stem cell treatment which used her own stem cells to reboot her system, improving some of the damage done to her organs by systemic scleroderma – a chronic, progressive and incurable auto immune disease.
Growing up in Old Bawn, Marina’s illness sees an over production of the protein collagen thicken the connective tissue of the body, leaving the mam-of-two suffering with extreme joint pain, chronic fatigue, a persistent cough and limited mobility that saw her spend 23 hours a day in bed.
However, after the public supported Marina in raising €130,000 for treatment, the local mam is now back home from Chicago with her two daughters and hopeful that the stem cell transplant will slow down the progression of the disease.
Speaking to The Echo from home this week, Marina’s husband Alan Killoran said: “We are very optimistic that everything will go to plan – there are no guarantees with this treatment.
“However, despite still being in a lot of pain, Marina is very hopeful and extremely thankful to all of the people that supported us both here in Ireland and in Chicago.
“We’re also so delighted to be back at home and sleeping in our own bed.”
In a Facebook message this week, Alan and Marina once again expressed their gratitude to everyone who supported them through donations, kind words, wishes and prayers.
The couple wrote: “We would like to thank Dr Burt and all the staff at Northwestern Memorial for the incredible care that they showed Marina… [and our] friends in Chicago, who were so wonderfully helpful throughout our stay.
“But most importantly, [we would like to thank] the people that made all this happen.
“We are just so lucky to be Irish, because without the unrelenting love and support of the amazing people of Ireland, we would surely be in a dire predicament right now.
“Thanks again for all the beautiful messages of support through Facebook.
“You have no idea how uplifting they were. Thank you all so very much.”
Follow Marina’s story on Stem Cell Transplant for Marina Jordan Killoran.