Thursday January 18th 2018

Now Vickie’s giving back

A re-energized Vickie Butler wants to turn the corner from being the woman the community helped, to being someone who can now help others.

Saturday, almost a year to the day she was at the centre of a fundraising event so she could travel to Mexico for treatment, Butler was part of a fundraising barbecue to help the Chronic Cerebral Spinal Venous Insufficiency Foundation.

CCSVI is the controversial treatment she sought to relieve symptoms of multiple sclerosis with which she was diagnosed 18 years ago.

CCSVI, offered at clinics in Mexico and the eastern U.S., is intended to work by clearing arteries and veins and allowing blood to flow more freely in the body.

The treatment is not approved in Canada.

Butler has experienced it twice, making trips to Mexico first and later to Cosa Mesa, Calif., where she was treated at the Synergy clinic.

In Mexico, she was treated for blockages in her right and left jugular veins and in California her treatment unclogged the azygos vein between the spine and the heart.

“I feel good, I feel really good. I don’t have fatigue, I can withstand the heat here now.”

Still, she said, while CCSVI helps relieve some of the symptoms of MS, the disease still needs to be tackled by researchers to find a cure for it.

“I think we still have to have treat MS.”

Butler, 54, worked as an administrative assistant for the Elgin County Board of Education and its successor, the Thames Valley District School Board. She worked at schools all over, including New Sarum Public School, in the offices at each location.

If it were not for MS, Butler is convinced she would still be on the job today.

She estimates she has spent $31,000 for travel and treatment.

And there is still an annual checkup in Barrie, to make sure she is coping as a post CCSVI patient.

“We have to pay $250 for that,” she said.

Barrie is where the CCSVI Foundation is based.

Doctors who support the foundation donate money to to those in need who can’t afford to make the trip on their own for checkups.

“In our area, the money will go to people who need it,” she said.

All the doctors who support the foundation, do the checkups for free from their own homes, Butler said.

“There is no overhead. We use every cent have to help people.”

Saturday, guests gathered at Karen Kimble’s New Sarum home. Kimble is a personal friend of Butler.

Saturday’s event featured barbecued pork, with salads and dessert donated by Kathy’s Katering.

Approximately $1,000 was raised for the CCSVI Foundation.

Butler said overall, she’s happy with her own health improvements.

“I’m not running any marathons, nor do I expect to. They’ll probably find a cure for MS when I’m 64.”

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