Mum set for life-changing treatment

Zoe Derrick
Zoe Derrick
Share this article

A Billinge mum will be able to have a life-changing treatment sooner than expected after making it onto a cancellation list.

Zoe Derrick, who has multiple sclerosis (MS), has been fundraising to make the £35,000 she needs to travel abroad for a hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) that could prevent her symptoms getting worse.

Zoe Derrick and her family

Zoe Derrick and her family

She was originally hoping to travel to Moscow to have HSCT because it is not available on the NHS, but would have had to wait up to two years before getting a place.

During this time, any relapses the 36-year-old, of Coppice Drive, Billinge, had could leave her suffering from symptoms and problems with her mobility that the treatment could not reverse.

But she has now been accepted onto a cancellation list to have the treatment in Mexico, meaning she will be able to have the treatment in the next three months.

The mum-of-two said: “We have used all our savings, begged and borrowed. We just need £10,000 and then we are there in the next three months. I’m so happy.

“It is exactly the same treatment as it would have been in Moscow but the process is different, in Russia I would have been able to go on my own because the treatment would have been done as an inpatient.

“But in Mexico it will be done as an outpatient, so they will put me up in an apartment but I will have to take a carer with me so my husband Paul is coming with me and my mum and dad will be coming to look after the kids. I would have been waiting two years for Russia and I had a relapse a few weeks ago and a few of the effects have stayed with me.

“We knew it could happen and it has happened and it has left me with a few new things.”

Zoe, a midwife who works in the outpatient unit at Thomas Linacre, was diagnosed a few years ago, just months after giving birth to her youngest son Freddie. She said: “We just thought what are we doing, this is time we could be spending with the boys and we were just being silly really.

“There isn’t that much I can do on my own.

“I drive to work and back again three times and week but I don’t go to the shops on my own or out for coffee on my own.

“I don’t take the boys out on my own because I don’t know if I will be able to drive home again.

“My eldest son, Haydon, is 14 so I had 10 years of doing absolutely everything with him. The reason we waited to so long to have Freddie was because Paul was ill and then we had him and he was about four months old when I was diagnosed.

“It is about my quality of life and that of my boys as well. Other people who have had the treatment have said their fatigue has gone completely.

“That is what I struggle with the most, fatigue. Sometimes it is so bad I can’t even get up.

“I would go through all of this just to get rid of the fatigue.”

To donate, visit