About Me

Aloha!  My name is Jeff Root.  I am 38 years old and live in the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii.  Early next year, I will be traveling to Russia for Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) treatment to halt the progression of my symptoms from Multiple Sclerosis.

My story:

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at age 28, the prime of life.  At that time, I was serving in the U.S. Army as a Vietnamese linguist.  I had a promising career in the Army that I was truly proud to be a part of.  As a linguist, my team deployed to Vietnam for excavation missions to search for remains of our missing service members from the Vietnam War, and bring them home to their families.

My initial symptoms were optic neuritis in my right eye and tingling in my arms and legs.  I began my treatment with a disease modifying therapy that slows the progression of the disease, however, as time progressed, so did my disease.  Unable to fully perform all the duties required of a soldier, I was medically retired by the Army in 2006.  Since retirement, my symptoms continue to progress.  I now must use a cane to aid with my balance and walking abilities, especially when I am outside of my home.  My disease has also limited much of my abilities to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, like a walk on the beach, which I truly miss.

I have decided to pursue treatment in Russia because I can see where my life is headed.  I want my life back!  I know that I have to do something drastic to stop the disease.  There are many opportunities and experiences that I would like to take in my lifetime.  First, I want to be a partner to my wife and not become dependent on her for everything.  Second, I would like to someday walk my daughter down the aisle and dance with her on her wedding day.  Third, I would like to walk across the stage on commencement day to receive my MBA degree.  Ultimately, I want to live a normal life.  For all these reasons and more, I am willing to undergo the treatment for the chance to get better.

Thank you to all for your support and kind words of encouragement.  It will be a long process and I will do my very best to keep everyone updated through this website, as I take this journey.  Until then…

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4 comments on “About Me

  1. I really look forward to hearing about how this journey goes and how it helps you, Jeff. Since I first read about it I’ve thought about it often and I am so glad that you can do it! I think you’re an inspiration for those of us living with MS. Maybe one day it will be a treatment that’s prescribed, just like any of the other treatments available to us. Personally I’ve been stable on Tysabri for over 4 yrs now but I think about how awesome it would be if there were something available that could even reverse some of the symptoms. Personally, I know how you feel when you say you want to walk on the beach or walk your daughter down the aisle at her wedding someday. I want to walk, period so I completely understand that. I am hoping for great things for you with this and I can’t wait to read about everything that happens. You’ve really made me think about this whole process.
    Jenn

  2. Jeff, my nephew Chip lewis sent me this information. I was diagnosed with MS in 2005 so I am very interested in keeeping up with your progress as you have this procedure. We will keep you in our prayers and I will have you put on the prayer list of our Sunday School Class. We are the only ones who know how hard this disease is to fight, especially when we always “look so good you would never know there is anything wrong with us”. I am fortunate to have an amazing family and I have their love and support. I am sure you have the same . I am looking forward to hearing about your journey!

    Olly from Georgia

  3. I am so proud of your “never give up” attitude! I know you will do whatever it takes to live a “normal” life, whatever that may be. I truly hope this treatment works and makes you feel so much better. I know living each day with the unknown can be scary but you are not the one to let that defeat you. May this journey be a great lesson to those of us living with this awful disease. My heart goes out to you.

  4. I am very interested in your treatments and progress. Like you say MS affects everyone differently. I was a Lpn now I am disabled. My MS goes in spurts. I was in a wheelchair then used a walker next came the quad cane. But if I keep as active as possible I can walk without help. My balance is affected. I admire your positive attitude. I will keep you in my prayers and would like to put you on our Church’s prayer list. Maybe we can think of a fund raiser. Keep your spirits high. Cyndi Beedle

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