|Stem Cell Transplant Helps Retired New Jersey Principal|
|Saturday, 05 September 2009 09:24|
Covered within a recent MyCentralJersey article, New Jersey resident, Michael George feels “reborn” after having his own adult stem cells implanted in him to treat his Scleroderma in a new stem cell treatment. The retired William C. McGinnis School principal, who in April was taken off all medications, including antibiotics, related to his transplant said that “I feel really good,” and “It's great to be alive.” It was at his one-year check-up in April doctors told George, an avid fisherman, that he can now do anything he wants.
Just before the March 13, 2008, adult stem-cell transplant, George's skin was stiff and his face was tight. He had a hard time swallowing. Doctors were concerned his condition was spreading internally to the point it might close his esophagus and damage his heart and lungs. The procedure George underwent at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago involved taking stem cells from his bone marrow, cleaning and freezing them while he received large doses of chemotherapy to cleanse his immune system before the stem cells were put back into his body to grow.
George stayed in the hospital for nearly three weeks and remained in Chicago for about three months staying in a hotel affiliated with the hospital which offered apartment-like accommodations for transplant patients. The night he returned to Perth Amboy, New Jersey, George remembers being able to bend down to pick up the luggage from the trunk of the cab. These days his knees are giving him some trouble when he bends due to arthritis.
George said the procedure didn't cure him, but it stopped the disease and reverses it to a certain extent.
“In April the doctor said "are you sure I didn't give you a lung transplant, instead of a stem cell transplant,” he said, noting both his lungs and heart are now in good condition. Following the transplant, George said his body has a low tolerance for cold weather and he has to really bundle up. He may spend part of the upcoming winter visiting a friend in California and his son, who lives on the island of St. Vincent.
However, Stem Cell Treatment isn't cheap. A lot of overseas stem cell companies take a lot of flack for charging patients usually in the range of $20,000-30,000 dollar for the adult stem cell therapy that can improve patients’ lives. However, stem cell treatment in the US isn’t cheap either at over $200,000 for an “experimental” treatment. Similarly, Stem Cell research has been mired in controversy, having become one of the biggest issues dividing the scientific and religious communities around the world.
George said he really appreciates life and everyone at his church, the school district and city who wrote or e-mailed him and contributed toward his medical expenses, which were more than $200,000. I don’t want money to be the main issue, as the important thing is Michael did improve his quality of life and you can’t put a price tag on that. However, those overseas stem cell therapy companies don’t look so bad after all when you compare them to the $200,000 + for adult stem cells in the United States for similar “unproven” treatments.
Read the full article here.