MUSKEGON, Mich.-- Brandon Beach was running out of options for treating his multiple sclerosis until his family learned about a procedure that is guaranteed to stop its progression. To get it done, they'll need to raise tens of thousands of dollars and travel to Mexico.
Brandon's wife, Brenda says his MS has gotten progressively worse over the past few years.
"I mean there was a time where you could look and him and you couldn’t tell he had anything wrong with him," Brenda tells FOX 17. "That’s just different now.”
In 2007, Brandon started losing feeling in the right side of his face. He says he went to the doctor, who sent him to another doctor, who thought it was just a virus. Months later, he was camping with his wife when out of nowhere, he fell.
“I just folded" Brandon says. "I pulled something and the next day we were playing football with a couple of our friends, catch, and his wife threw a wild pass and I ran to get it and I got about three steps and I just, I was down.”
When they got back home, they returned to the doctor. On September 17, 2007, which is the couple's anniversary, Brandon was diagnosed with MS. The disease has progressed since then, making everyday tasks extremely difficult.
"I found him last year in the yard because he went out to do something with the wood and never came back in. So I’m like, ‘Okay it’s been a couple hours,’" Brenda says. "I went out to find him and he was lying on the ground and he had frost bite. He thinks it’s funny but it was terrifying.”
For a father of five who built his own house, not being physically capable of doing certain things anymore has taken a toll on his mindset.
“I would say that it does affect everything, it’s just the way it is and I’m really, really sick of it," Brandon says.
There is something, though, that gives the Beach family hope: stem cell therapy. It's performed in most major countries around the world but has not yet been approved in the United States by the FDA.
“They wipe out your immune system and then they reintroduce the stem cells and that basically in a nutshell, it resets your immune system," Brandon says.
The procedure isn't cheap; the family says their insurance won't cover it and would cost them more than $150,000 in the United States, so they're hoping to get the same treatment in Mexico for only about $60,000.
They are asking for help from the community to raise the money they need to get to Mexico by April 1, 2018.
“It’s an amazing, life-changing thing. I’m so excited to go. I wish we could go tomorrow," Brenda says.
To donate to the Beach family, click here. If they raise enough money, Brenda, Brandon and one of their daughters will be in Mexico for 28 days for the procedure.