Katie Hominsky, of Medina, is shown getting treatment for multiple sclerosis. She is trying to raise funds for a stem-cell transplant, which will cost $125,000. She has a fundraiser set for Dec. 1 at Sidelines Sports Bar & Grill in Brunswick.
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MEDINA — Katie Hominsky’s neurologist told her at her last appointment she has a body of a 72-year-old.
If she doesn’t get a successful stem cell transplant, she said, she’s been told by doctors she’ll eventually be confined to a wheelchair and “die at a very young age.”
The 32-year-old Medina mother who has multiple sclerosis trying to raise funds for hematopoietic stem cell transplant, or HSCT. Her insurance company won’t pay for the $125,000 procedure, which is not approved by the Federal Drug Administration. She has filed an appeal, but time appears to be quickly running out, as her symptoms keep progressing.
Hominsky said she has four lesions on her neck. If any complications arise, she said she could be paralyzed or not be able to breath, swallow or have motor functions.
“It’s very critical,” she said. “I’m out of options.”
She has gone through five medications.
“They just didn’t work,” Hominsky said. “This is a mysterious disease to maintain and stop.”
Hominsky has been battling relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis for almost eight years. She said it’s turned her life upside down.
She is plagued by extreme fatigue, numbness, tingling, heat intolerance, cognitive issues, memory loss, bladder issues, vision problems, vertigo, severe ice-pick headaches and tremors.
“All you can do is smile through the pain, pray every day and wake up and do it all over again,” Hominsky said.
She said she’s a believer and couldn’t have gotten through this ordeal without God in her life.
Hominsky and her husband, Tony, have seven children. She has an 11-year-old son, Vinny, and her husband has six children from a previous marriage. All but one are boys.
She is a part of a “sisterhood” made through Facebook that consists of women who also are battling multiple sclerosis. All but Hominsky have had the stem cell treatment, which is offered is at Northwestern Medicine University Hospital in Chicago.
Hominsky believes the treatment will save her life, just as it has for Keri Huff and Anna Wise of Medina, Chelsea Piszczek of Berea and Bonnie McKenzie of Rootstown.
Piszczek, formerly of Medina, was able to raise the $125,000 for her treatment in about four months.
“I’m a year out from my stem cell transplant,” Piszczek said. “I’m in complete remission. I’m walking. I’m better than I’ve ever been.”
All of the women got their procedure done at Northwestern, with the exception of McKenzie, who had it done in Puebla, Mexico. She raised $60,000 to have it done.
“I’m the only one who went outside the U.S.,” McKenzie said. “I was progressing rapidly. I’ve had no complications and no relapses. I’ve taken no MS medication for a year. I’m very happy with my decision.”
Hominsky is having a fundraiser 5-8 p.m. Dec. 1 at Sidelines Sports Bar & Grill, 1165 Pearl Road, Brunswick. Tickets are being sold for $25, which includes food and two drinks. There will be raffle baskets, a 50/50 raffle and an Ugly Christmas sweater competition.
There is also a GoFundMe page set up.
“Yes, I’m doing this to raise money, but it’s a humbling experience,” Hominsky said.
She said she continues to work as a business development manager at Concept, formerly Concept Services, 1153 Medina Road, Suite 100, Granger Township. Most of the time, she gets around with a cane.
“I’m 50 percent Italian and 50 percent Hungarian,” she said. “I’m very stubborn.”
Her office raised about $1,000 for her cause Tuesday.
“They are amazing,” Hominsky said. “I love them to death.”