Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

April 8, 2015

A friend is in Panama City this week doing an annual pilgrimage to provide her young daughter with stem cell treatment to help her gain improvement in her strength, motor skills, tone, and more. Like Cole, her daughter has cerebral palsy. Stem cell treatments, while somewhat revolutionary are being used to help children and adults with cerebral palsy with good success. I’ve heard about it over the years but hadn’t really done any research because it seemed out of reach for whatever reasons.

It’s not a miracle treatment that will eradicate all of the damage and disability from my child but from the research I’ve been doing recently, the treatment can induce small, notable improvements in overall health, alleviation of seizures in some, better focus, stronger muscle tone and coordination. Some testimonies I read cited improved vocalization and vision as well. The stem cells help to rebuild the damaged neurons and to help the body to create new healthy pathways.

It’s impressive. And it’s expensive. Stem cell treatments are still somewhat experimental and not covered by health insurance. Most clinics doing them are based outside the US so there are also travel expenses to consider. Still, when faced with the possibility of a treatment that could improve Cole’s health and circumstances even slightly, it’s hard not want to figure out how to make it happen.

For now, I’ll continue to research and will most likely talk to some of his doctors about it. It’s hard to decipher the testimonials. Many are from parents with very young children and I know that, from our experience, Cole made huge strides on his own in the early years because he was doing so many therapies and his mind and body were naturally getting stronger as he developed and grew. However, reading some of the testimonials from older children, teens, and adults gives me cause to believe there is potential in the treatment for him.

The impact of any improvement to his health, strength, tone, and/or focus can have on a kid like Cole is huge. The smallest benefit can be impactful to his life, which makes me want to know more about it. It gives me hope. Not for myself but for the possibilities it could provide for him.