Support Algis ’New Life after MS

Prepared by the Friends of Algis Steering Committee



Meet Algis

Algis is an IT specialist born and raised in Belgium. He came to Taiwan in 1987 to work on construction of the Taipei subway system and helped design the automated systems for much of that project. Ten years later, he fell in love and married Li-ling , a native of Taiwan. They have a wonderful and healthy daughter, Mikalina who is a college student today.

Li-Ling

Algis met Li-ling in 1989 when she was teaching Chinese to French expatriates working on the subway system. After completing the engineering project, Algis took a job with a French trading company in 1995 and discovered that Li-ling was working for the same company. Her positive outlook and smile drew them together and they soon got married. Her strong will to persevere has been essential to supporting him through his 20+ year challenge with MS. 
Since about 2006, Algis has had to rely on his wife Li-ling's support for all the daily physical routines of his life. Her unfailing support has been a lifeline for Algis.


MS: Multiple Sclerosis

In the first year of their joyful marriage in 1998, Algis began experiencing chronic fatigue and noticing clumsy movements. He underwent a series of hospital tests and was diagnosed with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. Even so, he kept working until he could no longer walk. Over time, his condition continued to degrade, day by day and year by year. By 2002, he was completely dependent on others for the most basic tasks and routines of daily life. In spite of this, Algis conducted research to learn all that he could about MS. And, although the causes of MS are not well understood, he discovered that it is an unpredictable and disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. He and his family also have had to come to terms with the fact that there is no cure for the disease.  Since then he has tried all treatments known by medicine to slow the progression of the disease. Eventually, he became almost completely paralyzed. Today, he only has the use of his left arm and senses that it is only a matter of time before he loses even that too.

Work on Taipei Subway

Algis worked as a managing engineer on the first line of the Taipei subway system from 1989 to 1995, working on design and implementation of the automated electronic systems. The Taipei mass transit system has had a significant impact on the city and quality of life. Today the system carries two million passengers per day relieving many of Taipei's traffic congestion problems. The system has also greatly reduced related transportation pollution emissions. Taipei ’ s MRT has been a catalyst for urban renewal, as well as increasing tourist traffic to outlying areas and reducing commuting times.

Living in Taiwan

Though the community of Taiwan is generally compassionate and supportive, living as a foreigner on the island has complicated Algis' struggle with MS. Aside from communication challenges, he has met obstacles in getting socialized support for everything from wheel chairs to home nurses. Taiwanese sufferers of MS get more support from government services than expat residents of Taiwan.



New Stem-Cell Research Offers Hope for MS

In recent years, remarkable advances in MS-related medical interventions have been made through the use of stem cell therapy. Significant progress has been made in this area of medicine,especially in Asia. Multiple sclerosis,like other neuro-degenerative diseases, is now a preferred focus of stem cell therapy research. This is because it calls for re-growing lost nerve cells when the original cells have died due to the disease. After learning about this possibility, Algis prepared his medical records in Taipei and sent his case for review by PuHua Hospital in Beijing, a pioneering organization in the field stem cell therapy. They determined that he could benefit from stem cell transplant and , as with other patients, could likely recover many of his lost nervous functions. Algis is active in the online communities where sufferers of MS meet to d iscuss their lives and challenges. He steers members away from the common pessimism in the groups and looks forward to inspiring them with the story of his recovery one day.

Algis ’ Treatment Program

The program typically requires a 3-week stay in the hospital.

  • Incoming patients are given standard tests to check their health and the details of current condition. A thorough evaluation of their neurological function and understanding of the lesion or pathological change of the central neural system is established by the medical team.
     
  • According to the condition, a medical plan is designed. Medications are used to prepare and enhance the micro-environment in the patient's brain, to support and protect the incoming stem cells. Self-activation and proliferation treatment is then start ed . The treatment works by  “waking up” the sleeping stem cells through oral medication and IV medications.

  • Nine doses of stem cells will be administered over five sessions. Neural stem cell (NSC) transplantation is administered in 3 sessions via cerebral spinal fluid (lumber puncture). And six doses of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation will be administered over 2 sessions via IV injection. The procedures are complemented by daily IV administration of medicines, neural nutrition, and protection therapies.

  • Rehabilitation sessions begin in the first week after all initial tests are made. Rehabilitation methods include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

http://www.puhuahospital.com

12 TiantanNanli, Dongcheng Qu, 
Beijing Shi, China, 100050 

tel.: +86 10 6703 5566 

Chief Neurologist, Dr.Zhou

PuHua International Hospital in Beijing

PuHua is an international hospital in Beijing doing cutting-edge research into stem cell therapy and has had excellent results in treating MS. PuHua ’ s medical team has determined that Algis is an ideal candidate for stem cell therapy and has accepted him into their treatment program. And, they have emphasized that “ time is of the essence ” and the sooner he receives treatment the better his prognosis will be.

Beijing Puhua International Hospital(BPIH) has been delivering international-standard healthcare from Beijing, China since 1995. Since that time, BPIH has kept its lead in Beijing, and today works even harder to develop Tomorrow’s Health Care, and provide it to our patients, today. Well over 50% of BPIH patients are international. They come here from the Americas, from Europe, Russia, Africa, Australia and the Middle East. They come for the Best in Neurological/Neurosurgical diagnostics and care: this is our heritage. They come for Traditional Chinese Medicine: this is our culture. They come for the most advanced Biotechnology available: this is our commitment. Beijing Puhua International Hospital is a leader in providing international healthcare, comfort and service. The facilities and staff are exceptional, and BPIH is the standard for the advanced diagnostic, medical and surgical care that this facility is famous for.

Cost of Algis' Treatment

The cost of the procedure is US$30,000. In addition, Algis will need to pay for travel from Taipei to Beijing, visas, a caregiver during his stay at the hospital, and daily living expenses. Additional funds will be needed to allow for possible contingencies of the procedures. And, the cost of treatment is currently out of Algis ’ reach. Without Algis' income, the family has had to rely solely on Li-ling ’ s income to cover the overwhelming bills related to Algis' daily care, while also supporting a growing daughter. Today the family is struggling financially and cannot hope to cover the costs of this promising procedure and other associated costs ... without your help. Your donation, large or small, by directly contributing towards the payment of Algis' MS treatment will ultimately support Algis' family and allow him the opportunity to fulfill his dream of sharing a full life with his wife and daughter and helping others to recover from MS. Our volunteer group, “ Friends of Algis ” is committed to raising the funds that will give Algis his life back. We are asking for you to donate to this cause now because the sooner the treatments begin the more effective they will be.








Mikalina

Algis ’ and Li-ling ’ s daughter Mikalina works hard in school. Algis has been heartbroken that he has not have been able to do more with his daughter. He dreams of traveling with her and taking her around the island. He also has a great dream of traveling with his daughter to Europe to show her his country and then travel back to Taiwan via the trans-Siberian railroad. His daughter Mikalina is studying Russian now. All this can happen but only if Algis can get the needed stem-cell treatment now.

Life After Recovery

Algis plans to record in detail his experience of treatment and recovery. He plans to continue living in Taiwan, the place he loves and calls home. Though Algis has a passion for motorcycle racing, he does not dream of racing, but instead dreams of being able to work and contribute like others and returning to a normal life in his beloved Taiwan. He plans to continue networking with and supporting others in Taiwan who suffer from MS.


In Algis ’ own words:

“ I am deeply grateful to all those friends and even strangers who have supported me thus far and continue to contribute their time, energy and creativity to my recovery. I am completely determined to get treatment and get my life back. My dream after recovery is to inspire other MS suffers as someone who has recovered and do all I can to help others get the treatment they need. I see myself recovering my mobility and energy and I see a life of making a difference for my wife and daughter whom I love dearly. “ Now, I humbly and respectfully ask your help to make my vision a reality. Please donate what you can by going to www.youcaring.com/HELP_ALGIS

And I further ask that you bring my situation to the attention of your personal network and ask them to support my cause as well. I deeply appreciate your support and thank you for giving me the chance to live life fully after recovery from MS. ”




About "Friends of Algis"

Friends of Algis is a volunteer group committed to raising the money for Algis ’ treatment and helping him find a new life in recovery from MS. All members donate their time free of charge, in addition to contributing financial resources. We envision enlisting the support of the local community in Taiwan including corporate and individual sponsors to quickly raise the funds needed for Algis’ stem cell treatment. We humbly ask for your support and your contribution to give Algis a new life. Every contribution, large and small, makes a difference.

Bernard Berger

Trenchant Tech Partners

David Chard

EngagingMinds Worldwide

Philip Diller

Pristine Communications

John Hardyment

Chairman, Bayshore Pacific

Michael Boyden

Taiwan Business Leaders' Forum

Michael Garber

Videography and Editing 

James Thomas

Host of the podcast "Four Seas One Family"


HOW TO DONATE

Bank Transfer

  • E.Sun Commercial Bank, Ltd.,
    Taipei, Taiwan
    SWIFT Code: ESUNTWTP
    Account Name: JURGELEVICIUS ALGIRDAS KASIMIR
    Account #: 0554-879-040470
  • By ATM Bank Transfer on Taiwan:
    Bank Code: 808
    A/C: 0554-968-174361

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