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Temporomandibular Joint Disorder sufferer's bid to raise cash for treatment in America
When Beth Malsbury sat down to eat a sandwich, little did she know her jaw would lock shut, changing her life forever.
But following that fateful day about five years ago, doctors discovered the 25-year-old from St Peter’s Close was suffering from chronic temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
Although Beth is able to open and close her mouth, her jaw has been dislocated since that day, and all the joints in her body are rapidly deteriorating, misaligning all the way down her body.
Because of this, she suffers constant and acutely painful migraines, often feeling tired and is starting to encounter problems with her hips and knees as well.
Radiographer Beth said: "As I’ve got older, my condition has deteriorated.
"Over the years I have seen two maxillofacial surgeons, two local dentists, a London dentist who specialises in TMJ, a specialist at Kings College Hospital an American dentist who was flown over to use me as a teaching case.
"But in each of these instances treatment has failed to work and no-one can understand why.
"Very few people have this condition, so it tends to be up to sufferers to do their own research.
"Thanks to the internet I have made friends with other around the world who have the condition and we support one another by sharing our knowledge."
Beth, who is newly married, has also been dealt the devastating blow that given her current condition, her body would be unable to cope with carrying a baby to full term.
Determined to fight her condition, she has decided the best option to treat TMJ is through either a Las Vegas practitioner, Dr Chan, or Dr Mehregan in Boston who trained under Dr Chan and follows the same line of treatment.
Both are offering to try and treat TMJ through neuromuscular dentistry that uses an anatomical removable orthosis.
The procedure has a 95 per cent success rate and it will take the best part of a year for Beth to complete treatment.
Although Beth and her husband Lewis have applied for visas in America, they have been told they are not eligible to work while over there, so they need to raise in the region of £50,000, £30,000 of which will cover the neuromuscular dentistry, and the rest will pay for living expenses.
So far they have about £5,000 saved, but the pair are planning to hold a sponsored walk on November 3, with friends joining them on a 10.5 mile hike to Oxford Street in London.
They are also looking for fundraising ideas and support to help them reach their treatment target.
Through tears Beth said: "Everyone keeps telling me that I need to get this sorted, but there haven’t been any real solutions - until now.
"English doctors can’t do anything for me, they’ve tried and they’ve hit a brick wall.
"Medics won’t tell me what the worst case scenario is, but having spoken to other sufferers I know that I could end up housebound.
"I just want this constant pain to stop, I want to stop feeling so tired, I feel so much older than my 25 years.
"And of course Lewis and I would love to start a family, but the way things are at the moment, that’s just not possible."
To find out how you can help Beth email:firstname.lastname@example.org