Stem cell treatments have made the news once again. However, according to Fox 8 Cleveland, this story about stem cell treatments isn’t about morality or ethical concerns. The story told by Fox 8 is a much happier one.
The story talks about a young lady named Sarah Hughes. Sara is 23 years old and has been suffering from a rare form of arthritis her entire life. The type of arthritis she has is called systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis or SJIA. SJIA is an autoimmune disorder, like other types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis. According to aboutkidsheal.ca,
“This means that the body mistakes some of its own cells and tissues as foreign. The immune system normally helps to fight off harmful, foreign substances such as bacteria or viruses. When a child has SJIA, the immune system begins to attack healthy cells and tissues. This results in inflammation. Inflammation is when a part of the body is red, swollen, painful, or hot to the touch.”
Essentially, Sarah’s body was attacking her joints and destroying her body. She has lived with this condition since she was 11 months and apparently this disease runs in her family as well. Sarah’s Aunt passed away at the young age of 37. Sarah knows how serious this condition can be.
As Sarah aged, her arthritis symptoms only got worse. She developed chronic arthritis in her spinal cord and it was even beginning to affect her heart and lungs. Even when she was in elementary school she had to navigate through the hallways with crutches and an aid would have to carry her backpack because she was too weak. The condition was also creating digestion issues to the point where her body almost couldn’t sustain itself. She eventually got to the point where she could only eat through a feeding tube and she was starting to look like a cancer patient.
By the time Sarah was in High School she was taking 23 daily medications and receiving routine chemotherapy treatments. She was balding and her weight dropped to 89 pounds. Even a small walk outside would require weeks of recovery time.
Her Last Option: Stem Cell Treatments
When Sarah was 22 she learned about Stem Cell Treatments. She researched stem cell therapy with her mom for months as she continued to deteriorate. She was skeptical, but she realized that she had nothing to lose at this point. She was in a position where all of the other doctors told her mom to make her as comfortable as possible for the remainder of her life. Even her doctors were giving up. Sarah and her mother visited a stem cell therapist in Houston who encouraged her to try stem cell therapy.
The news article says, “Within two hours of an infusion, Sarah could feel changes in her body. She felt a little burst of energy that empowered her to talk, sit up and start walking without aid. But even more surprising was that Sarah was hungry and wanted to eat, a sensation she didn’t recognize after a life of being fed through a tube.”
One year after her first stem cell treatment she stopped her chemotherapy and eliminated almost all of her maintenance drugs. She just celebrated her 24th birthday, she’s now building back her muscles, gaining weight and her hair has grown back long and thick.
Stem Cell Treatments Aren’t Just for the Elderly
Sara’s condition was extremely rare. In fact, her condition was so rare, and her type of SJIA is so rare, that the doctors referred to her condition as Sarah’s disease. However, in most cases patients who are suffering from arthritis are older. Majority of the patients are older than 50 and have been abusing their joints for their entire lives. If you abuse your body and put constant stress on your joints, you will begin to wear away the cartilage in between your joints. This is how arthritis typically begins and is a common condition. However, SJIA isn’t as common. In fact, only 30,000 cases of this condition are diagnosed each year.
People of all ages can get arthritis. In Sarah’s position she suffered from arthritis and join pain from the time she was one. However, athletes and people who injure themselves may experience joint pain around the time they are in their later thirties. Finally, the average Joe who is slightly overweight and has lead a normal life may experience joint problems in his 50s. Arthritis is a condition that affects people of all ages.
Regardless of your age, if you believe that you are experiencing joint pain from arthritis contact the Stem Cell Professionals in York, PA. An hour consultation may save you from invasive surgery and weeks of recovery. Contact the Stem Cell Professionals today at 717-881-2343
Karen Queffelec, RN, BScN. (11/10/2009) Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (SJIA) [Blog post]. Retrieved from: http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/en/healthaz/conditionsanddiseases/inflammatoryconditions/pages/systemic-juvenile-idiopathic-arthritis-sjia.aspx