Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Stem Cells and 60 Minutes

Well 60 Minutes has done it again.

Two years ago 60 Minutes did a segment on stem cell scams. Last week they did another.

Both of these segments have managed to make my blood boil for several different reasons. The first being that they really did find scams preying on people who just want to get better. Infuriating.

However what really makes me upset it the one sideded-ness (pretty sure that is not a word) contained in both of these segments with great effort taken to make a very clear statement that stem cells do not work for things like CP..... EVER...... not yet. They used big wig US medical doctors with million dollar labs to provide scare tactics and to dispute a man that clearly had no clue what he was doing and very obviously had no right or business treating anyone. 

What I want to know is why they can not explore the other side of the story outside of the very clear scams. Why can they not interview the overseas doctors they continue to discredit who also have million dollar labs (that I have seen with my own eyes) not just shacks. Who perform these procedures in REAL hospitals. Who ARE doing research and are not "self taught". Who have medical degrees that have not been suspended. Who do not guarantee healing nor offer promise of even the slightest cure.

Why oh why is 60 Minutes so scared of getting two comparable sides to this debate?

Many could speculate several different reasons for this program to provide such a lame comparison on the effectiveness of stem cell therapy such as ties to the  pharmaceutical companies (The segment was funded by a major drug manufacturer after all) , threats from the health department, fear or connection to the FDA (how many drugs were recalled this year?), blah, blah blah but none of that really matters because it is done...... very unfairly in my opinion.

You may be wondering why I care. Makenzie has already done stem cell therapy two times and it worked, so why do I care what 60 minutes has to say?

I care because I have watched Stem Cell Therapy help not only my daughter but several other children I know personally. I have watched Makenzie's friends gain eye sight, cognitive abilities, and physical skill. I have seen the healing and it makes me sad to know that there are parents that will write this therapy off for their child because a US TV show did a one sided  report.

Some people look at Makenzie today and do not see the value of stem cells. No, she did not get up and walk or talk. She is still fed by a g tube and she can not sit on her own but these are not things that I expected to happen from stem cell therapy.When we embarked on this journey I expected nothing but hoped for miracles.

....... and miracles Makenzie got.

Shortly after we got home the daily episodes of vomiting STOPPED. She no longer woke in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning to episodes of forceful yellow bile being expelled. The day time random puking also stopped. Two years later, after two full years of FTT, bi passing her stomach with a j tube and constant reflux and vomiting everything she ate, Makenzie is fed 3 bolus feeds per day, she has gained 10 pounds in one year, and is thriving. Funny thing is..... most people don't realize that the trigger to vomit comes from the brain...... hmmmmmmm?

Makenzie also gained much cognitive ability. Her receptive language improved. She started showing us that she knew her colors and numbers with tools such as the iPad and low tech books. Makenzie began following directions and crying when I left the room. Today Makenzie is communication with a talker. She is asking questions, requesting her needs, and commenting all on her own. She can complete pattern recognize her name, and navigate a power chair understanding when to stop and what direction to turn in order to get where she wants to go.

Then there is the physical improvement we saw immediately following Stem Cell Therapy. For the first time ever Makenzie was able to look up. She started tracking things up which she was unable to do before stem cells and was able to find and watch fireworks for the first time several months later. She improved her walking skills, her muscles are looser, she started using her arms and hands to activate toys a ton more and was able to physically push 3 different switches to drive a power chair.  Makenzie's immune system was also much improved. Makenzie gets sick a lot less and colds that would have sent her to the ER before are now just colds that I treat Makenzie for the same way I do my boys.

Some will say this is all in my head. Some will say Makenzie would have done all of these things anyways and that is ok but I know different. I know where my daughter was before and after treatment. I know all of her therapists saw the same changes I did. I know that God opened the doors to stem cell therapy. I know that he placed each new cell where it needed to go. I know that Makenzie would not be where she is today without Stem Cell Therapy. Is she completely healed? No..... but her life has a ton more quality! Was it worth the time and money......absolutely!

and since this is a two sided story I also want to be clear that I also know kids who did not benefit at all from Stem Cell Therapy.  Plain and simple.... nothing happened.


My advise on this subject if you are considering stem cell therapy is to do your research. Before I chose to head overseas with Makenzie I got the blessing from her Rehab Doctor. I spoke to doctors in person that had done stem cell trials on real people and called clinics all over the world armed with every question I could think of. I paid NOTHING up front.

Do not expect miracles instead hope for them and know that there are NO guarantees.  

This treatment is not for everyone.

I am not a doctor or a scientist. I am a mom who will walk to the ends of the earth to help her kid be all that she can be. Unlike 60 Minutes this blog post was not sponsored by anyone and is my own thoughts on the subject. It is my experience with my child...... Our Stem Cell Journey

Believe.... Prayer Works!


dawn said...

thank you for sharing your side of the story. i know the 60 Minutes story scared a lot of us considering stem cells. even i, knowing first hand how one-sided the media can be, was more skeptical and concerned. . .and less hopeful. but your post helped me overcome that fear. we know not to expect a miracle or a cure, but like you, we want to give our daughter every possible opportunity to have the best quality of life she can have. we are in los angeles, and just started going to the napa center too!

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