She was a star basketball player in high school and college but now, Jasmine Matthews faces a new challenge off the court—multiple sclerosis.
The disease has robbed Matthews of her ability to walk.
“With me losing everything so abruptly we were terrified,” she said.
The Marian Catholic star played D1 basketball at Bowling Green State University and was in graduate school when her muscles started twitching.
“The numbness in my feet kind of started in October of 2017 and then it grew up to my knee then it grew up to my hip," Matthews explained.
Jasmine’s father Jerod said as soon as they got the call of his daughter’s diagnosis, “it just seemed like a cloud, everything just stopped.”
That call in December of 2017 gave the family news that Jasmine was relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis.
The 25-year-old soon lost the ability to walk and her parents immediately became her primary caregivers.
“Jasmine has tried several treatments…but now has her heart set on something new…a stem cell transplant,” said Jasmine’s mother Genell. “As a mom it’s hard to see your young vibrant daughter who had so much in front of her struggle.”
“I’ve heard nothing but success from people who’ve had it and it’s just another opportunity to kind of get my life back,” Jasmine said.
Currently stem cell treatments for MS are not approved by the FDA but the National Multiple Sclerosis Society says research is promising.
When Jasmine’s insurance denied the $125,000 transplant, she started a GoFundMe page.
“It can control you; it can consume you—that’s what this disease does, it changes you,” she said. “But every day we fight. My mom, dad, coach, my sister—we fight.
Her former coach Annie Byrne, says she has no doubt she will overcome this. So much so, that she recently gave Jasmine a new pair of basketball shoes.
“I feel like she’s going to be walking really soon and I want her to feel like she’s going to be walking really soon,” Byrne said.
The GoFundMe page has already raised nearly $70,000 as of Monday evening.
“I’m tired of living in this body…so that was my motivation,” expressed Jasmine. “Surely enough, I did it and we’re now making things happen.”
If you’d like to help the Matthews family cope with the burden of medical bills, click here.