Christmas is all about family for Brockville's Kathy Francis.
But instead of spending the holidays with her 89-year-old mother, a daughter expecting her first child and her son and four-year-old grandson, Francis fears she'll be stuck in bed at Brockville General Hospital.
"I'm afraid. You don't know how afraid I am," said Francis.
"I've had attacks before but I've always been able to walk out of the hospital. This time, if I do recover, I fear it is going to take a long time."
More disturbingly, Francis is sure her situation would have been avoidable had Canadians been eligible for an angioplasty procedure known as CCSVI (chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency) designed to unplug blocked neck veins that are believed to exacerbate MS symptoms.
We don't know for sure, because there have been people who have had CCSVI treatment who have had their veins restenose or a relapse come anyway. But she has her own daughter's example to look at: her daughter has MS but was treated for CCSVI and had improvements.
We need the research underway and we need CCSVI venoplasty proven as a treatment for CCSVI. Faster. This is the third Christmas since I have learned of CCSVI, and it'll be my first one post-venoplasty, and I'm doing really well. I want that for everyone who can have it and I don't want finances or politics to be the barriers that they are.