A NURSERY teacher who had to remortgage her home to fund treatment to “save her life” will jet off tomorrow for Mexico.

Nina Matthews, 42, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2009 after going temporarily blind with optic neuritis, and collapsing in a shop.

She had a year to raise £45,000 to cover a 28 day course of haematopoietic stem cell therapy in Mexico.

Unfortunately, coronavirus cancelled a number of her planned events, forcing her and her husband, Nath, to remortgage their Horwich home.

Mrs Matthews said: “There’s just been one hurdle after another, but we’re finally here.

“It’s been 12 months in the making and it won’t be a walk in the park but if I can face everything going on now then I can do this too.

“I finished my packing yesterday morning and I just want to go

“Everything’s hanging in the balance and I’m so tired now but once I’m there, I’m there.”

Earlier this month, the couple were told that their flights to Mexico had been cancelled due to the pandemic, with a new pair of flights adding £3,500 to the total.

Last week, Mrs Matthews appeared on BBC Radio Manchester, where presenter Mike Sweeney appealed for the family to be refunded the extra cost – generating enough donations to cover the additional expense.

Raising enough money has been a battle due to the current coronavirus restrictions, with the pair managing to raise just £7,000 towards their goal before jetting off.

She added: “When I booked it covid wasn’t even an issue and obviously a lot of our fundraisers had to be cancelled.

“We managed to do a sponsored walk but the major events where we would have made the bulk of our money couldn’t happen.

“I can’t afford to wait.

“I don’t even think I could manage without people’s support.

“Initially when you tell people you’re going to Mexico for private treatment they wonder why you have to go all that way and can’t just get it on the NHS but I’m not eligible.

“This isn’t something I’d do if I wasn’t desperate, but my mobility is quite bad.”

Mrs Matthers will need to go through four rounds of chemotherapy, with her stem cells harvested and reinserted as part of the treatment, which is available in the UK for people who meet a certain criteria.

Her medication, which costs £70,000 a year, is available through the NHS, but this only manages her symptoms and does not prevent the disease from progressing further.

The treatment available in Mexico is typically used to treat bone marrow and blood cancers, but has also shown effectiveness in treating MS, according to the MS Society.

Although the treatment is almost upon us, their fundraising work will continue when the couple return.

Mrs Matthews said: “I have to keep fundraising – financially it’s just crippled us.

“My husband won’t get paid for all of the time he’s off work to be with me in Mexico, and I’m on reduced pay because I’ve not been able to work since March.

“We’ve had to remortgage the house but my husband says even if we end up homeless this is what I need to start getting better.”

The pair are due to fly to Amsterdam tomorrow morning to catch a connecting flight to Mexico, with treatment set to begin at the Clínica Ruiz on Monday.

Visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/nina-matthews to help fundraise.