For the first time in my history of multiple sclerosis I‘ve been shown a monumental glimmer of hope. Stem cell treatment may possibly be the closest thing to a cure we’ve ever seen. It implies the ability to not only stop MS in its tracks, but also repair damaged nerves.
This speaks loudly to secondary progressive patients like myself. It also applies to author/journalist, Richard Cohen. Cohen has dealt with MS for nearly 40 years. Multiple Sclerosis has left him nearly blind and dependent on a cane to walk and stand.
Thanks to Cohen and his wife Meredith Vieira, we’ve been invited along to share their stem cell journey. The plan is to “use viable undifferentiated stem cells collected via his breast bone marrow. A storehouse for viable stem cells.” Stem cells according to Mr. Cohen are basically blank which allow them to become whatever type of cell the body needs to heal itself.
Stem cells were taken from his sternum. Then in five months will be injected back into his spinal cord where they will hopefully fortify his spine thereby removing his dependence on a cane. In my case, relinquishing my need for a wheelchair, among many other problems.
Did I explain that well? If not, I’ve included his video below for you to review.
The reason I’m so optimistic is because there are seldom treatments that include those of us with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.
In secondary progressive you never return to your baseline health status. For example, with me a doctor I barely knew declared I was secondary progressive the moment he saw my wheelchair.
Until recently, this procedure had never been done in the United States. I know this is not a cure, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. The implications of what could possibly happen are endless.
I have to caution myself to remain calm. Mr. Cohen says he’s cautiously optimistic. That’s a good idea. He’s keeping us updated through his blog JOURNEY MAN (http://richardmcohen.com). He’s scheduled to get the first round of cells in the middle February.
To be honest, I’m excited!!!!
But most importantly it gives one room to…hope.