I first got to know Nina Pool when my son started his Grade R year in the class. She is one of those teachers who really teach because it is her passion. It is not uncommon to find Nina sitting cross legged on the floor and literally playing with the children as they learn. I was shocked to find out a few months later that Nina had Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I cannot pretend to know the pain she has, but she is always positive and ready to hug a child.
Nina is originally from the Free State. Nina started her career as a primary school teacher in 1996. Being her dynamic self, she was extremely busy with school athletics activities during the week of 7-14 February 1998. When the tough week was over, she was exhausted, but chalked it up to having been active and busy. This fatigue lasted longer than the weekend. Though she went to school on the Monday, she just felt more and more unwell. By the time that she could go home, she could not even drive her car!
She went to several doctors for a multitude of evaluations in Gauteng. Neurologist, Dr. Susan Tager, eventually broke it down to 2 potential reasons for Nina's ill health, namely Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis or Multiple Sclerosis (MS). If she were to have another attack of this nature, the diagnosis would be MS.
A year later and 2 weeks after her wedding day, she went through another MS attack and was then formally diagnosed with MS in 1999.
MS is a disease where the immune system attacks the thin protective layer around the nerves and neurons that has to protect the brain and spinal cord. MS symptoms and prognoses vary from person-to-person.
Over a span of the next 20 years, Nina has tried several treatments. Towards the end of 2019 the attacks (flares) drastically increased and became more aggressive. She was informed that there are no medication currently on the market that can assist her to live with this condition. Her only alternative is a stem cell transplant.
The medical funds in South Africa do not pay for these types of treatments for MS because it is not widely recognized as a normal type of treatment for this type of illness. It is mainly rather used for the treatment of cancer and other more life threatening diseases.
In March 2020, Nina started this long and tedious process. Nina is still married to her wonderful husband, Cobus, who takes every step with her. They have a daughter in high school (who still has to write matric exams during this COVID pandemic) and 8 year old quadruplets (2 boys and 2 girls). She wants to do everything possible to ensure that she can see her children growing up. She is still a grade R teacher.
I started this campaign as my own way of helping this wonderful person achieve her dream. I am hoping that you can also find it in your heart to donate.