She's a vibrant 27-year-old woman fighting a debilitating disease. Brynn McLennan has facio scapulo humeral muscular dystrophy, known as FSH-MD.

"It's deterioriated my muscles around my back, and in my arms, and everything above my knees," she says. "I'm sore on a day-to-day basis, but it's not as painful as it looks."

McLennan works. She drives. And does most of the things she says -- just in a different way. Her days are planned so she doesn't over-exert herself.

"It definitely takes a toll on you, emotionally and physically."

Alternative treatments to fight

So McLennan has turned to alternative methods to cope. Herbal medications, acupuncture. And now she's willing to try stem-cell treatment.

"Hopefully what will happen will be that I get more energy, more stability, and over time, strength."

McLennan has to travel Mexico, where the cost is $20,000 per treatment.

"I'm willing to try anything. I don't think I have anything to lose."

Fundraiser to help her in Mexico

Fundraiser Stem Cells for Brynn will help with the cost, which is not covered by government or private medical plans.

"It's not a cure, but how I put it is I'm going to try to outrun the disease," she says. "If I can build my muscle faster than it can destroy it, then I am basically winning. But it's not eradicated from my body."

Terry Sarrazin, McLennan's mother, supports stem cell treatment -- anything to improve her daughter's quality of life.

"What I didn't realize is what I've gained," Sarrazin says. "She's incredibly strong. She's my hero now."

Gratefulness for generosity

If it works, McLennan will need two treatments a year for the rest of her life. At $40,000 a year, hopes are this will walk become an annual fundraiser.

"I used to cry out of fear," she says.

"Now I cry because I'm filled with the kindness and generosity of these people."

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Karen Soloman