Leroy ‘Roy El Kei’ Konjanan (35), hails from Zwolle, the Netherlands. Having been active for many years as a techno DJ, he has performed at major festivals such as Fusion of Dance, Kingsland and Solar Festival. He is the initiator and organizer of the popular techno party DEEP, which will be celebrating its tenth anniversary on 9 February 2019 at Poppodium Hedon in Zwolle, where it has been held since its inception. Roy is suffering from an aggressive form of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). He has set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to enable him travel to Mexico to undergo stem-cell treatment, which is currently the only treatment that can stop the disease.
‘I was diagnosed with Relapsing-Remitting MS in late 2017. My parents were away visiting family in Indonesia, so a close friend, Julia, accompanied me to the appointment. I’d been having symptoms for around six months, and in June I experienced a sudden stiffness in the across the whole of the right-hand side of my body. My GP referred me to a neurologist straight away, and I immediately realized that it wasn’t good. Following a whole variety of tests, I was diagnosed with MS in November. Initially, the gravity of the diagnosis didn’t register with me, and I simply carried on with my life in the usual manner, and felt little in the way of symptoms.’
‘I’m suffering from an aggressive form of MS. Naturally, it varies from one person to another, also in terms of whether the symptoms worsen, and how quickly your condition deteriorates. I know people who’ve been in remission for five years, but over the past couple of months my condition has worsened. I would attribute this, in part, to chronic stress. In the past, I was always very relaxed, but I’m now constantly stressed – due to my illness, but also all manner of other external factors. I’m always in a rush and, of course, there’s an element of anxiety. There’s still so much I want to do.
‘Due to my illness, I haven’t been able to make any music for two months now. You could compare it to someone taking Max Verstappen’s car away from him; that’s how it feels. It’s harsh; I was always so focused on making music, but now I’m ill, I’ve realized that my health is what’s really important. You don’t think about it until it happens to you. Before, it was a case of a party here, a party there. A drink, cigarette, and junk food. I used to think, “What the hell”, but I now ask myself why I did those things.’
‘As soon as I found out I had MS, I started researching the illness and available treatments. Basically, stem-cell therapy is currently the only option. It’s a treatment whereby stem cells are extracted from the blood and filtered in a medical laboratory. After the body has been treated with chemotherapy, the clean cells are reintroduced into the body.
‘The treatment hasn’t yet been approved in the Netherlands, but it is permitted abroad. I know there’s criticism of the treatment, and that Dutch neurologists have their doubts, but I have no choice. This FDA-authorised method is currently the only option for me, so I need to pursue it. I have a responsibility to myself and all those who are close to me to do my utmost to recover because the stem-cell therapy can stop the disease completely.’
‘I don’t really view it as an easy solution. You know, cleaning a few cells and that’s it. I’ve already started trying to optimize my physical health so I’m as healthy as I can possibly be when I start the therapy. I’ve stopped smoking and drinking, and I’ve improved my eating habits. But there’s still more I need to do. On the basis of an examination of my feces in the US, I can get a completely personalized diet that will tell me which vegetables to eat and which to avoid, and what the best foods are for my body in general.’
I’m also going to have all of the fillings in my teeth replaced with organic fillings. The heavy metals used in my existing fillings is apparently a major trigger for autoimmune diseases such as MS, as those metals continuously leak into your bloodstream. I’ll also spend the next few months detoxing, with the aid of capsules that cleanse the whole body, removing all parasites and heavy metals. I never really gave it a thought, and I didn’t have a clue, which is why I want to share this now and make people aware. You need to flush those chemicals out of your body. Or at least, I do.’
‘I hope to be a clean and strong as possible in just under six months’ time when I travel to Mexico for the stem-cell therapy. And for that I need around 75,000 euros – a large sum I don’t have, This led me to set up the crowdfunding campaign with family, friends, colleagues, and partners like Hedon. I’m extremely grateful that they’re prepared to help me. “We’ll fix it!”, they tell me. I struggle with it, though. I’ve never asked for charity; I’ve always paid my own way. I’ve always wanted to take care of things myself, but now I simply can’t.’
‘I’m self-employed and didn’t have work disability insurance, which costs 300 to 400 euros a month. And now I’m ill, I can’t take out insurance anymore. Since my relationship ended, I’ve been living with my parents. At the time, we decided that I would invest my money in my career. I built a recording studio so I could continue building my future, but my illness has thrown all of that into uncertainty. I now have only one choice: to undergo this treatment. The only other option is not to, but I can’t take that risk. There’s still so much I want to do. I want to give music lessons to children, and I have more than enough tracks for three albums, but I can’t finish them. I also want to set up a business for my Indonesian/Moluccan family members so they have a chance of a better future. So we’re taking the bull by the horns, because I want that better future, too.’