Some years ago, changing lives through adult Stem Cell Therapy might have seemed a strange statement to make. Adult Stem Cell Therapy is one of the ‘newest’ branches of medicine and the last bastions of conventional medicine are slow to respond to the new research-backed medical advances that are happening every day. These advances apart from making inroads into diseases and conditions that conventional medicine is unable to tame, are quite often less intrusive, holistic and certainly cheaper in the long run.
Adult Stem Cell Therapy is one such medical advance that has changed the lives of hundreds, many of whom have had to seek treatment outside their countries as their medical licensing bodies deliberate on procedures and protocols.
Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Sarah Hughes is a case in point. Born with Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (SJIA), Sarah had the best medical care money can buy. And yet the 23 daily maintenance medications that she was on (including high-dose chemotherapy) did little more than keep her alive. Specialists in Houston, Texas and in Maryland made sure that she received world-class care. But no healing was taking place.
Having to live with long term joint inflammation is harrowing enough for an adult. For a child to literally grow up in hospitals and to live with this condition is unimaginable. SJIA has a whole raft of unpleasant symptoms that make life almost unbearable. Apart from the inflamed joints Sarah endured prolonged, recurring fevers, fatigue, widespread aches and pains, possible swelling of internal organs and quite possibly anemia.
Sarah’s mother Fiona Cunningham saw her daughter do battle with this disease. Since her body, ravaged by SJIA, could not absorb nutrients, she was kept alive with TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition) and lipids administered intravenously for many years. However intravenously administering long term nutrition poses certain dangers and the side effects can be life-threatening. Sarah was therefore, after some time, tube-fed directly into her stomach, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Stem Cells for Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
The turning point came in 2014 when Fiona learned of a procedure using adult stem cell technology to treat SJIA, quite literally saving Sarah’s life. The team of scientists at Celltex that Fiona decided to work with was able to grow Sarah’s own stem cells in their Houston laboratory and cryogenically banking them for future use. But the battle was only half-won. Although the United States licenses clinics and research centres, adult stem cell therapy is not approved by the FDA.
Air travel for even a mildly ill person is troublesome to say the least. For a patient with a chronic illness the challenges presented can be daunting. And yet this is the only alternative that Fiona and Sarah were left with. Since the procedure could not be done in Houston (or anywhere else in the States for that matter), they made the decision to fly to Mexico. In Cancun, Sarah had her adult stem cells infused into her bloodstream through a simple IV. Three years later the transformation is astounding. From living in hospitals Sarah, now 25, lives a healthy life, attending college, show-jumping her horse and engaging in any other activity that a healthy 25 year old is able to accomplish.
Changing lives through Adult Stem Cell Therapy is a reality and the sooner the health licensing bodies around the world adjust with the times the sooner will the lives of thousands be eased and even saved.