Fundraiser For DeAnna Lopes Oct. 29

Posted By on October 27, 2016

by Joey Crandall, joey@carsonvalleytimes.com ·  3 min read

MINDEN, Nev. — It’s a whisper Jake Lopes has been hearing his entire life.

From the time he was born in 1991, his mother, DeAnna, was told she exhibited symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis.

In March of 2000, she was officially diagnosed with the disease, unpredictable and often disabling in its nature as the immune system attacks the body’s central nervous system.
The journey since the diagnosis has included prescription medications and shots to help treat her condition.

“It’s something she’s dealt with daily,” Jake Lopes said. “It’ll be a continuous thing until the day she passes. The medicine doesn’t take care of the disease, it basically just mediates and manages it.”

Some time ago, as the effects of the condition have continued to take their toll on DeAnna’s life, the family – all long time Carson Valley residents – began looking into other treatments and alternatives.

DeAnna, now age 47, has lost the ability to run, enjoy outdoor recreational activities, or even type. Her balance is under strongest attack and she must use a wheelchair over long distances to prevent falling.

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DeAnna Lopes. Photo courtesy of the Lopes Family.

During the family’s search for alternative treatments, they were made aware of hematopoietic stem cell transplant therapy, an aggressive procedure where stem cells are collected from the patient’s own bone marrow before the patient undergoes chemotherapy.
The process essentially shuts down the immune system completely. When the stem cells are injected back into the patient, the immune system effectively resets to no longer attack the body.

The catch is that the treatment is not yet approved in the United States.

Instead, Lopes would need to travel to Mexico to undergo the therapy – which carries a hefty, and largely uninsured price tag of $60,000.

“It is a major treatment,” Jake Lopes said. “Because it would stop her immune system, she’d have to be in quarantine for a few months, and then her recovery would be another 7-9 months. But the treatment is proven to stop the progression of the disease.

“That is her goal, and I thought why not try to get out there and help try to get her to it?”

The Lopes family established a 501c3 through the Help Hope Live organization, which collects funds for transplant procedures. Donations can be made at this link.

Jake, who began working at the Carson Valley Inn a little under a year ago in the banquet department, came up with the idea to put on a spaghetti dinner and raffle benefiting the fundraising effort.

The dinner is scheduled for Saturday, October 29 from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Carson Valley Inn.

The spaghetti buffet will run from 5:30 to 7:00 PM. Tickets are $15 for adults and $40 for a family of four. Dinner includes spaghetti, salad, garlic bread and dessert. All proceeds will be donated to the HelpHOPELive fund.

A crowd of 100 to 150 is expected by Jake Lopes said there are plenty of tickets left, and that tickets can also be bought at the door.

“All of the people at CVI were so helpful in making this happen,” Lopes said. “I’m just thankful.”

For tickets to the spaghetti dinner, more information or to make a donation contact Jake at 775-691-2489 or JakeLopesMusic@gmail.com.

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