5 Stem Cell Success Stories To Inspire and Motivate You

Happy and healthy couple running together

Life-disrupting conditions can be scary and leave patients and their families feeling unsure of what to do next. Sometimes seeking improvement includes searching for answers beyond traditional medical care. Stem cell therapy may be an alternative treatment option for many facing chronic illnesses and conditions. 


At Stem Cell Institute, we’ve successfully helped thousands of patients discover the opportunity for a healthier and more independent life. In this blog, we look at five stem cell success stories to help you take the first step toward a healthier life.


We’ll look at:

  • Stem cell therapy for MS with Kandis
  • Cerebral palsy and stem cells with Owen
  • Stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis with James
  • Stem cell treatment for autism with Dylan
  • Stem cell treatment for autoimmune disorders with Stephanie


1. Stem Cell Therapy for MS: Kandis’ Story



Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2012, Kandis’ symptoms began to appear as: 

  • Numbness
  • Difficulty walking
  • Loss of vision in her right eye
  • Loss of hearing in her right ear
  • Trouble speaking


“My quality of life was limited. I wasn’t in pain but my mobility was not there. So my independence was slipping away from me.”


MS is an autoimmune disease that damages the nervous system, affecting each patient differently. Many patients struggle with vision problems, speech, mobility, muscle control, and coordination.


Kandis told her husband about her diagnosis as soon as she came home from the doctor. This began a process of learning what her options were for treatment. As they searched, they discovered Stem Cell Institute in Panama. 


“I wanted to try and see if there was another way that I could achieve a quality of life and some health. Like diet, exercise, or alternate forms of therapy. I chose this and I’m very, very happy about it.”


Stem Cell Treatment in Panama

Kandis relied on a wheelchair to get around upon arriving in Panama. However, she left after treatment with only a cane. Within two weeks, she no longer even needed to use the cane. 


“My vision returned and my hearing returned. I had no troubles. My walking was good and I was able to do CrossFit. I was able to drive and use my hands. I was able to live a very, very productive life.”


10 years later, Kandis’ MS symptoms began to set in again. Fortunately, she knew exactly what to do. She immediately returned to our clinic for another round of stem cell treatment. “I never expected the results to be that great, especially that quickly,” she said, discussing her latest treatment. “It feels incredible.”


“If somebody asked me whether they should come and have stem cells or whether it would be good for them, I’d tell them to phone and talk to somebody. They will answer all of the questions. I felt good coming here and I’ll feel good leaving. This has been absolutely amazing.”


Learn more about MS and Stem Cell Therapy.


2. Cerebral Palsy and Stem Cells: Owen’s Story



Owen S. was diagnosed with severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy at 14 months of age. The doctors informed his mother, Randy, his life wouldn’t be easy. According to them, he would never be verbal and would be limited to a very low quality of life. 


This was only reinforced by the facts that Owen was:

  • Born a micropreemie at 28 weeks
  • Weighed only a little over a pound
  • Was extremely sick
  • Died twice during his 128-day stay in the NICU


“We weren’t given much hope for a future with him,” Randy, who is also a clinical pharmacist said, “but I had to tell my husband that the path we were going was a slow one.” This led her to search for treatment for her son. As she explains, “I would rather take the chance and nothing happen than never do it and not know what we could have missed out on.” 


After their experience with Stem Cell Institute in Panama, Randy said:


“I’m glad we took the chance. My only regret is that we didn’t come sooner.”


Stem Cell Treatment for Cerebral Palsy in Panama


Stem Cell Institute doctor shaking Owen's hand

Owen had been non-verbal when he was younger. Since stem cell therapy, he takes advantage of his ability to speak by letting his family know that it’s time for another stem cell treatment. He even did this before developing speech, using body language to let them know it was time.  Once school was over, Owen would let his parents know that he needed to go back to Panama.


Owen’s family would come back every summer for treatment. Recounting her son’s requests, Randy said: 


“What do you tell your child when they go from a six or seven-year-old kid and non-verbal to ‘I need stem cells. I need to go to Panama’? His life revolves around early intervention and therapy. So when the joy is bringing him to Panama and improving his quality of life through stem cells, that’s priceless.”


The staff also plays an important role in their choice to return to Panama for stem cell treatment. As Randy explains, the staff is:

  • Amazing
  • Professional
  • Kind


“They make us feel like home,” she said. “It’s now like coming to see family. Owen walks in the door and everybody greets him with high-fives, hugs, kisses, and fist bumps. So it’s truly like coming home.”


Life After Stem Cell Therapy

Life for Randy, Owen, and their entire family has been completely different. Owen doesn’t experience nearly as much pain as he did in the past. His medical team has also been able to remove six prescription medications from his routine. He is also communicating verbally, sleeping more easily, and eating on his own.


Since stem cell therapy in Panama, Owen has become increasingly social while experiencing fewer sensory issues. These improvements allow the entire family to spend more time together without having to make special arrangements for staying at home. “Not only does it make him better,” said Randy, “but it makes our family better.” 


Learn more about stem cell therapy for cerebral palsy.


3. Stem Cell Therapy for Osteoarthritis: James’s Story



James was no stranger to bad knees. He has played sports since he was young and dealt with bad knees all his life. Unfortunately, bad knees in your 70s is a much different experience than when you are younger. 


He was experiencing:

  • Difficulty performing physical activities
  • Restricted motion
  • Swelling
  • Pain


As his knees became worse, James knew he had to do something about his situation. On the other hand, he wanted to avoid solutions such as knee surgery along with their long recovery times. The solution would eventually come from his wife after listening to a health podcast where she learned about stem cells and their potential benefits.


James enjoys reading and gathering information—a skill that comes in handy as a lawyer. Using his legal training, he began a deep dive into the world of stem cell therapy. 


This eventually led to him to learning about: 


  • Stem Cell Institute in Panama 
  • Neil Riordan, PA, PhD
  • Our signature Golden Cells™ 


“It seemed to be what I was looking for, so that’s why I came here.”


Stem Cells for Osteoarthritis

James had never been to Panama before so everything was a brand new experience for him. “I found it very interesting,” he said. “The people are very warm and nice. That was the thing I enjoyed most about Panama.”


James enjoyed being with our administrative and medical staff. Discussing his doctor, he said, “He is a nice guy and I liked him. He’s very attentive and concerned. I also like his nurse. Everybody at the clinic was very nice and you could tell that they cared and were trying to help. They were also very professional.”


His treatment consisted of stem cell injections in his knees along with several intravenous (IV) injections. The protocol lasted three days. Fortunately, our clinic is located in the same building complex as the Hilton Panama. This allowed James to seamlessly move between our clinic and his hotel room so that he could rest between treatments.


Life After Stem Cell Therapy

James experienced a near-immediate change in his knees following his treatment. In fact, he was back on a plane bound for the United States within 24 hours after completing his treatment. Since then, he has been enjoying living an active lifestyle again. 


This is especially true for biking. As James explains:


“I was doing 20 miles a day, three days a week. That’s putting a lot of stress on your knees and I didn’t have any problems at all. I was also weightlifting at least twice a week and I didn’t notice anybody that was 73 in the gym other than me.”


With results like those, he would definitely consider his treatment a success. “I didn’t really have the aches and pains as I’d had before the treatment,” he says. “My lifestyle was greatly helped by doing this.”


Learn more about stem cells for osteoarthritis.


4. Stem Cell Treatment for Autism: Dylan’s Story



Dylan was diagnosed with autism at two and a half years old. Sadly, his condition was taking a toll on his family in such a short time. “He just went into his own world,” says his mother, Angie, as he stopped talking. What’s more, he started to develop new and self-destructive behaviors such as banging his head against the wall.


Dylan exhibited many tendencies found in autism, such as:

  • Not responding to his name
  • Never pointing as a baby
  • Lack of eye contact


Not waving “bye-bye” was the telltale sign for Angie and her husband. “There was nothing,” Angie said, describing Dylan’s sense of intuitive interactions compared to other people. “In fact, he didn’t want [interaction]. He just ran the other way.”


His behavioral problems didn’t end there. Dylan was also:

  • Very fussy
  • Always crying
  • Never sleeping


Angie had also become concerned about his reflux. It had grown so terrible that he would throw up everything that he ate.


Echoing many parents who have been in her position, Angie said:


“It was so hard. My husband and I were struggling so much. It was the lowest time of my life for sure and I didn’t know what kind of future Dylan would have. I would just go to the grocery store at night and cry because I didn’t understand. It was so unfair that it was my kid. Why did it have to be my son?”


But their story didn’t end there. Angie advocated for her son, constantly researching to find a solution. Eventually, she learned about Stem Cell Institute in Panama and the possibilities of stem cell therapy.


Coming to Stem Cell Institute

Dylan getting his heart rate checked at Stem Cell Institute Panama

Angie quickly learned about Stem Cell Institute as she explored different autism forums. She immediately began hearing about stem cells when her son was diagnosed, as well as what some other patients described as, “amazing results”.


According to Angie:


“Stem Cell Institute has been around for so long in the autism community. It’s well-established and safe. It’s so well-known that I wouldn’t go anywhere else. I’d be scared to take my child anywhere else.”


When Angie brought Dylan down for their first trip in 2019, she was quickly impressed by the professionalism of the staff as well as how they interacted with her son. 


“It was so much easier than I thought,” she recounts. “I was so scared that it would be invasive or traumatic for my son, but the staff is amazing. They get the vein every time and are so good with him. They are so caring and playful and understanding with him. I don’t have to worry.” 


Dylan’s Life After Stem Cell Therapy

Dylan’s life has seen a big turnaround since receiving stem cell therapy for autism. As Angie explains, “Before stem cells, he was really disruptive in a classroom. They really wouldn’t allow him to be there unless he had his own one-on-one ABA (applied behavior analysis) therapist.” She also says that it’s hard to find a school that would allow for that. 


Since getting stem cells for autism, Dylan has been doing great. He is able to attend school and his regular class with other kids his age. He has even made it on the honor roll! “I just pinch myself because he’s doing so good,” said Angie. She understands that doing something new can be hard, but she doesn’t regret her choice.


Angie encourages others to take the leap, saying:


“To anybody considering doing stem cells, just do it. I’m so glad we did and I wish I’d done it sooner. Dylan is so creative and so happy. He’s such a happy boy now. I’m just so thankful that it’s changed my life.”


Learn more about stem cells for autism.


5. Stem Cell Treatment for Autoimmune Disorders: Stephanie’s Story



Stephanie believes that it’s important to share her story with Stem Cell Institute. She understands that there are people who don’t understand what stem cells do or how they can help someone. “So that’s why I believe so strongly in this,” she explains, “and would like to let other people know that it’s an extremely important option for them.”


Stephanie was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome in 1992 and later diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. Chronic fatigue occurs when your mitochondria don’t produce enough energy for daily functioning or for your body to live off of. This can result in muscle pain from not getting enough circulation along with chest pain and extreme tiredness. She also experiences neck pain due to her Hashimoto’s in addition to other muscle problems. 


Receiving Stem Cell Treatment

What drew Stephanie to Stem Cell Institute was Dr. Riordan’s history. She appreciated the path he took from a researcher in different fields to eventually settling on stem cells. “It built up a lot of confidence in me,” she said. “He’s so methodical and really committed to finding a better way to heal people.”


Stephanie has enjoyed her experiences with our staff. “Any questions I have,” she explains, “they answered. Any needs or concerns I had, they addressed.” She describes her doctor as “amazing.” 


She also appreciates the seamless experience of arriving in Panama. When you schedule treatment with Stem Cell Institute, we meet you at the airport gate, escort you through Customs, and bring you to the Hilton Panama. “From reception to the doctors to the nurses, everyone’s been just so kind and helpful and amazing.”


Life After Stem Cell Therapy

“After my first treatment, the pressure that I was feeling in the neck area went away within days, which was such a nice relief to have,” explains Stephanie. “Over time it has gotten much, much better.” 


“To anyone who’s considering stem cell treatment, I would say [Stem Cell Institute] is definitely one of their best options,” says Stephanie. “The difference between how my quality of life has been affected, now I have more energy to make it throughout the day.” It has helped her be better at running her own business, providing better service and being an even better employer.


Are you ready to learn what stem cell therapy may be able to do for you? Click here to apply today!


Stem cell therapy can help with a broad range of health issues. At Stem Cell Institute, we’ve had the pleasure of treating a diverse group of people from all walks of life. From MS to Hashimoto’s, we’re here to do everything we can that helps you or a loved one live a better life.


Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama is at the forefront of applied stem cell research. Since our creation in 2008, we have performed over 50,000 procedures, helping thousands of families across the United States and around the world embrace the opportunity for a better life. Our medical team prioritizes the safety, health, and well-being of all our patients through top-notch evaluation and care.

Take the first step towards the healthier life you deserve.