Stem cell treatment in Panama shows signs of hope for local Belle Fourche boy

By Karla J. Flack, Black Hills Pioneer

James Habeck and his mother Melissa

James Habeck and his mother Melissa

BELLE FOURCHE — Three-year old James Habeck and his family have returned from a medical trip to Panama. His mother Melissa Habeck said they are noticing signs of improvement as a result of the stem cell treatment James received at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama.

Treatment is hoped to provide James with relief from some of the complications caused by his cerebral palsy and allow him to do things a toddler would normally be able to do such as talk, sit-up, walk, turn himself over in bed at night so he would have fewer sleeping issues, and use his hands and feet. Some with James’ condition have tight muscles, but James’ muscles are just limp.

Medical professionals told Melissa that the new stem cells would live actively in James for six months. During those six months of cell life, whatever James learns and the strength he gains should remain.

The Habecks returned to Belle Fourche June 7 and shortly thereafter James’ extensive line-up of therapy treatments began. He is on a fast track of learning and is currently undergoing speech, occupational, and physical therapies in both Rapid City and Belle Fourche.

This week he was fitted for a wheelchair and evaluated to see if an augmented and alternative communication device could help him communicate. If he can train his eyes to look at a particular item on the device his family will know what he is trying to communicate to them.

“They feel like he is stuck in his body, and that it is possible; he understands 75 percent of what I say to him,” Melissa said.
The Hebeck’s trip began May 31 and entailed an hour flight to Denver and six hours from Denver to Panama. James had never flown but he did well with the flights.

Melissa asked doctors why hospitals in the U.S. don’t offer the treatment James needs. The answer was FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulations.

A Southlake, Texas, center recently opened. The extent of services offered is not being released at this time. [Note: This statement is not accurate. The Riordan-McKenna Institute in Southlake, Texas treats orthopedic conditions such as knee injuries and arthritis and rotator cuff injuries with a combination of bone marrow aspirate concentrate and AlphaGEMS amniotic membrane product. More information can be found at www.rmiclinic.com]

The Habecks met an athletic coach who was receiving stem cell treatment in Panama for multiple sclerosis. He said he was walking with a walker prior to his treatments. A filming crew was with him documenting his progress as he no longer has to use a walker after undergoing multiple stem cell treatments.

Melissa said staff at the Stem Cell Institute said a number of autistic patients come there for treatment. Heart failure, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal cord injury, and autoimmune diseases are also treated at the institute.
James had stem cells that were extracted from donated umbilical cords injected intravenously into his arms. The injections went fine some days but other days were problematic because his veins would rupture and the medical team would have to find a new vein. Melissa said by the end of the week both her and James were crying, but the staff was excellent in dealing with it.

“They were using a butterfly needle to access the veins but collapsing veins were still an issue and James was getting tired of getting poked with needles,” she said.

Melissa said she has been in contact with individuals who tried stem cell treatments that were not successful. She said people who had their own cells taken and then transferred back into their bodies told her their treatments were unsuccessful. She also said some who had gone to other countries and did the spinal stem cell procedures said those results weren’t positive. Melissa said she feels very positive about James’ treatment.

He has a special walker that he can use if someone pushes it for him.

“He took off by himself in his walker after treatment,” Melissa said.

He has also started trying to use his arms and legs to stabilize himself. He has more neck control and is trying to use his neck to raise his head. He has also shown improvement in efforts to gain eye contact with those who are talking to him. He has to fight for control as his eyes both stray separate ways.

Melissa said that when James was younger he tried to walk but then stopped trying; then he tried to sit. She was told that often times people with cerebral palsy have to abandon one thing to learn something else. Treatment will hopefully allow for a number of items to be learned and motor skills to be tackled simultaneously.

“He cried when they took the iPad from his sight on the plane and when the augmented and alternative communication device was taken from him,” Melissa said. This type of expression in connection with wanting something has not been something he was able to do in the past. She was happy he cried to have it back.

The Belle Fourche community rallied around the Habecks with a fundraiser March 22 wherein $20,000 was raised for James to have the stem cell treatment. Belle Fourche Police Chief Scott Jones and Belle Fourche Fire Chief Kip Marshall were taped to a building while raising funds and businesses donated door prizes. The Naja Shriners clowns helped raise funds Danielle Butler, James’ caregiver, organized the fundraiser. Many people joined together to help James. Melissa said she couldn’t believe it when it became possible for them to go for treatment.

Autistic Woodbridge boy making strides after stem cell treatment in Panama

By Suzanne Russell of myCentralJersey.com

Stem Cell Therapy Patient, Anthony Guerriero

Stem Cell Therapy Patient, Anthony Guerriero

WOODBRIDGE – John Guerriero has seen amazing improvements in his son, Anthony, since he underwent stem-cell treatment for his autism in December.

“It’s been life changing, and not just for Anthony,” said Guerriero.

He said his 7-year-old boy, a first-grade student at Matthew Jago School No. 28 in Woodbridge, is eating more foods, communicating more and in general is healthier and more comfortable in his skin.

“The best improvement is his connection with his brother and sister,” said Guerriero, who also has a son, Giovanni, 8, and daughter, Isabella, 5. “He didn’t have a relationship before with his brother. He was off in his own world. Now they are best friends. The three of them are inseparable.”

But with the stem-cell treatment lasting only about eight months before the body flushes it out of Anthony’s system, the family is preparing to return to Panama on June 29 for his next treatment.

Mayor’s Fluke Tournament

And helping them pay for the treatment, which is not covered by insurance, is the Mayor John E. McCormac Fluke Tournament on June 20 at the Sewaren Boat Launch. The event is organized by Woodbridge Police Officer Al Dudas, a 25-year veteran of the police department, and Police Capt. Robert Brady, assisted by Lt. Joseph Velez.

Dudas, a fisherman, said the mayor approached him nine years ago about holding a fishing tournament to raise money for kids with cancer and other medical conditions.

“When the money goes to a kid from town where we can see the improvement, it makes it that much more special,” said McCormac, who estimates that about $100,000 has been raised for families over the years.

Dudas said he goes to local stores and businesses to get donations for door prizes for the fishermen, as well as donations for the family. This year, the hall and catering also were donated.

Anthony Guerriero, two months after stem cell therapy in Panama

Anthony Guerriero, two months after stem cell therapy in Panama

At a captain’s meeting June 19 at the Avenel Knights of Columbus on Morrisey Avenue, a car dealer was scheduled to display trucks to haul boats and the New Jersey State Police was set to display a boat before a boatload of toys was presented to the three Guerriero children, along with about $15,000 for the family to use toward the $25,000 cost of travel, hotel and Anthony’s stem-cell treatment in Panama.

“When you see the faces of the kids and parents, it’s all worth it,” Dudas said.

And starting at 6 a.m. June 20, about 50 boats will participate in the fluke tournament, with $1,000 going to the fisherman who catches the largest fish. Last year, a fisherman reeled in a 13-pounder. Smaller prizes are awarded for the second-, third- and fourth-place finishers as well as the junior angler.

Sharon Aleszczyk, who, along with her husband, has volunteered to oversee the weighing of the fish, said the tournament is special to her.

“It’s close to my heart. They do so much for these families,” she said.

Guerriero said it’s great to have so much support from the community.

Autism diagnosis at age 2

Anthony was developing normally up until about 18 months old. Guerriero said his son used to talk, and walked before his first birthday. But at age 2, he was diagnosed with autism and retreated into his own world.

“He didn’t know who he was and who we were. He was mute for two years. It was difficult,” said Guerriero, who started researching autism and his son’s sudden loss of function.

His son underwent numerous tests and treatments before the family discovered stem-cell treatment. He said the treatment is so expensive that the family thought they would only be able to try it if they won the lottery.

The treatment is not approved in the U.S., although some clinical trials are underway, Guerriero said.

“But everyone chipped in money to send him there,” said Guerriero, adding that the change in his son was almost immediate.

He said his son’s skin was suddenly much softer, like he had found the fountain of youth.

“It was crazy. We were pretty encouraged,” said Guerriero, adding that the positive changes continued when they arrived back home, where his son was suddenly asking for different foods. He said Anthony had previously been so limited in the foods he would eat because of the pain he was in. He said his son now eats about 66 foods, mostly organic with no preservatives.

“He’s put on so much weight and filled out. He’s so healthy,” he said.

His behavior also has changed. Before the treatment, Guerriero said, his son suffered from major hyperactivity, climbing, bouncing, jumping, even walking on counter tops.

“He was not comfortable in his own skin,” said Guerriero, adding that the inflammation in his son’s brain and stomach played havoc on his body.

Since the treatment, Anthony hasn’t inappropriately climbed on things once.

“He’s done normal stuff as a boy. He’s super calm now,” said Guerriero, who hopes that with his son’s continued progress he will one day be able to verbalize the difference in how he felt before and after the treatment. “Now he’s talking to us and his siblings. He’s engaging with the whole family. It’s such an amazing journey. We see new things every single day.”

Guerriero said Anthony greets his mother, Jeannine, when she comes home, and he loves snuggling with her.

“They have that bond back,” he said.

Tax deductible donations for Anthony’s stem cell treatment can be directed to http://www.gofundme.com/unstoppableanthony.

If you are interested in following Anthony’s journey or would like to contact the Guerriero family with any questions about the procedure, go to https://www.facebook.com/UnstoppableAnthonyStemCellJourney.

2015-06-23T15:41:04+00:00 June 23rd, 2015|Autism, Autism, News, Patient Stories, Stem Cell Therapy|

Update on Glenburn Boy Who Underwent Stem Cell Therapy for Autism in Panama

 

JUN 8, 20155:54 PM EDT
By JOY HOLLOWELL

In 2009, an 8-year old Glenburn boy became the first child in Maine, and one of less than a hundred nationwide, to undergo stem cell therapy to treat his autism.

TV5 has followed the journey of Kenneth Kelley as he travelled to Panama for treatments.

It’s been about two years since his last transfusion.

Joy Hollowell checked in with the now 14-year old to see how he’s doing.
====
Like most brothers, 16-year old Philip and 14-year old Kenneth Kelley enjoy challenging each other on video games.

“Who is better?

Kenneth points to Philip

Typical teenager is how most would describe Kenneth…something his parents couldn’t be happier to hear.

Kenneth was diagnosed with autism when he was two.

“Many reputable people told us that he should be put in an institution,” explains Donald Kelley, Kenneth’s father. “And that just made us more determined to find a cure for him. We knew there was one out there somewhere, there had to be.”

Like many parents of autistic kids, Donald and Marty Kelley went to numerous doctors and tried countless treatments, including installing a hyperbaric chamber inside their home.

They had read about stem cell therapy. but the clinic was in Panama, and it was still a relatively new therapy.

“Seeing doctors who tell you things that finally after a while you meeting everybody and you say to yourself, well yeah, OK, yeah, I’ve heard this before,” says Donald Kelley, expressing his frustration.

The Kelleys would spend the next two years researching stem cell therapy for autism, including visiting the clinic in Costa Rica.

“This was different,” says Donald Kelley, “this was totally different.”

Kenneth underwent his first cord blood infusion at the age of 8. That very next morning, The Kelleys say they saw a difference. Within a year, Kenneth was reading and communicating. He went back five more times, until the age of 12.

“The improvements that we saw with Kenneth were amazing,” says his father. “To see your child become you know, enjoying life.”

“Before stem cells, he was just off the charts most of the time,” says Kenneth’s brother, Philip. “Screaming, kicking. I don’t remember him ever actually having a conversation with me. He’s gone from more of a person that I had to take care of to a friend.”

8-year old Caroline calls her big brother a dolphin.

“because he’s very playful and he’s very nice and intelligent,” she explains.

“It was a true blessing that he got as far as he did,” says Donald Kelley. “And that he’s where he is today.”
+++
The Kelleys say for now, Kenneth is done with treatments. However, they would consider going back, depending upon their son’s progression.

They tell other parents of autistic kids to never give up.

2015-06-09T21:19:52+00:00 June 9th, 2015|Autism, Autism, News, Patient Stories, Stem Cell Therapy|

Inside High School Football Report on Hall of Fame Coach and Stem Cell Recipient, Sam Harrell

Sam, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, was forced to retire as Ennis (Texas) High School’s head football coach due to his debilitating symptoms. Sam’s first two treatments using stem cells harvested from his own fat did not yield long lasting, positive results. However, after his third and fourth trips to the Stem Cell Institute in Panama for umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells, Sam’s life turned around. Now, Sam is back in the game again!

Roberta F. Shapiro DO, FAAPM&R: “A New York Doctor’s Path to Panama” – A Stem Cell Therapy Video Lecture

Special Guest Speaker, Roberta F. Shapiro DO, FAAPM&R speaks about: “A New York Doctor’s Path to Panama” at the Stem Cell Institute’s Stem Cell Therapy Public Seminar in New York City on May 17, 2014.

Dr. Shapiro discusses how she discovered the Stem Cell Institute and why she started referring her patients to Panama for stem cell therapy.

Dr. Shapiro operates a private practice for physical medicine and rehabilitation in New York City. Her primary professional activities include outpatient practice focused on comprehensive treatment of acute and chronic musculoskeletal and myofascial pain syndromes using manipulation techniques, trigger point injections, tendon injections, bursae injections, nerve and motor point blocks. Secondary work at her practice focuses on the management of pediatric onset disability.

She is the founder and president of the Dayniah Fund, a non-profit charitable foundation formed to support persons with progressive debilitating diseases who are faced with catastrophic events such as surgery or illness. The Dayniah Fund educates the public about the challenges of people with disabilities and supports research on reducing the pain and suffering caused by disabling diseases and conditions.

Dr. Shapiro serves as assistant clinical professor in the Department of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center.

2014-11-20T19:52:12+00:00 November 20th, 2014|News, Roberta Shapiro DO, Video - Stem Cell Therapy|

Stem Cell Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis: Ron McGill

Ron McGill suffers from relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. He was started experiencing symptoms in 2009 but was not diagnosed with MS until January of 2013. He received several infusion and injections of human umbilical cord-tissue derived stem cells at the Stem Cell Institute in late October and Early November 2013.

In this video, Ron shares his story of discovery and recovery at a Stem Cell Institute seminar in San Antonio in October 2014.

For more information on MS therapy at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama, please visit: https://www.cellmedicine.com/stem-cell-therapy-for-multiple-sclerosis-3/

Good afternoon.

I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS in January of 2013. My symptoms started with tingling and numbness in my hands and feet migraine headaches in April, 2009. Visits to the doctors concluded that job stress-related migraines were all it was.

My high tolerance for pain accepted the results and I went on with life. This was an extremely poor decision on my part. My symptoms remained constant but non-progressing until November of 2011. In attempting to kick a soccer ball, I lost my balance and I fell. I wrote it off as being out of shape and clumsy. A fall on a treadmill and down a stairwell in early 2012 was my final wakeup call. It solidified that there was more wrong with me than normal.

My quest to find out what was causing my issues and how to resolve them was started.

Starting from behind and (inaudible) to catch up, I did several things. I made immediate dietary changes. Sodas, fast food, canned food, alcohol – eliminated. Red meat, dairy, bread, pasta – reduced drastically. Chicken, fish, fresh fruits, vegetables – doubled. I went on a weight loss and body detox regimen. I replaced impact aerobic exercises I could no longer do with swimming.

I made the most of my insurance. I literally became a human pin cushion. Everybody was sticking me. I looked outside traditional medicine: acupuncturist, building my immune system and pure vitamin regimens. While I made great strides in changing my life, I was testing healthier, a progression of worse symptoms continued to happen. Severe leg and back aches, leg stingers, twitching, lost grip and more loss of balance.

It was determined that MS was my cause. My instability had me falling one to two times a month. I reached my lowest point waking up immobile from the waist down on a Wednesday morning in February of 2013.

With my motor skills seemingly erased from my memory, a deep cloud of panic overtook me. My confidence went out the window. I had to dig down extremely deep. I was able to regain mobility later that evening. I progressed to a penguin walk and very limited speed and distance over the next 6 months with the help of a walking stick and physical therapy.
Hours of online research for possible relief led to stem cell therapy.

After many months of research, doctor consultations, numerous conversations with people who had had stem cell therapy, heard about it, had relatives who had experienced it, I sent the email to the Stem Cell Institute.

After being accepted, I still had more conversations with Dr. Barnett and Cindy, asking more and more questions. They were extremely patient to everything I had.

The care provided for me upon my arrival and during my stay and departure in Panama was extremely good. The facility was simple, clean, efficient with a very helpful and friendly staff. The procedure was well-explained to me and carefully administered.

I was able to see results on my way back (on) November 3rd. I was able to walk farther and feel better. I was able to my walking stick in the back of my car for good two weeks later. Knock on wood, I haven’t fallen since October 23rd of 2013. My stamina, walking speed and stability have continued to increase. I do have momentary balance loss and heat can still wipe me out. My MS is still with me.

Do I feel (that) Panama was the right choice? For me, absolutely. I feel the infusion of healthy cells gave my body a huge boost to recover the majority of lost motor skills I had experienced. It also helped amplify the lifestyle changes I was already making to give me a faster and more positive result.

These successes have given me a more positive mental state that have allowed me to heal more and more.

What advice could I give you about stem cells? Research, research, research. There isn’t a price you can put on due diligence when it comes to your health. Make lifestyle changes at the cellular level in your body and amplify it with stem cell therapy.

In closing, I’d like to thank my wife for undying support and hours of research. I’d like to thank Dr. Riordan, (and) Stem Cell Institute for being at the cutting edge of healing diseases and I’d like to thank you all for allowing me to share with you today.

Another competitive ballroom dancer back in the game after stem cell therapy

Emerald IEditor’s Note: Deborah received human umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells

My name is Deborah, from Southern California.

Occupation: Certified Interior Designer with a Masters degree in Interior Design.

Diagnosis: Patella chondromalacia with thinning of cartilage, mostly involving the medial facet and at the median. There is early degenerative changes with small marginal spurs involving the femoral patellar compartment and the medial and lateral femorotibial compartments. There is no fracture, osteochondral or loose body. Also localized inflammation of the Hoffa’s fat pad, anterior to the transverse. (All of these findings were from an MRI taken on June 15, 2011).

Symptoms before treatment: severe pain, difficulty in walking, bending, standing, sitting, exercising, sleeping…life was not fun.

Treatments/drugs: Aleve, Tylenol, Celebrex, acupuncture, physical therapy, custom brace, ace elastic braces, interviewed /consults with three independent orthopedic surgeons, possible knee replacement, arthroscopic surgery to mend torn meniscus.

My friend and ballroom dance competitor, Dr. Janet Vaughan convinced me after I had been researching other alternatives here in the United States for over a year, to contact Dr. Barnett at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama to see if I was a candidate for stem cell therapy. Janet was kind enough to email Dr. Barnett for me and tell her I would be filling out the paperwork online and sending it to her ASAP. Dr. Barnett was extremely responsive and my husband and I soon had a conference call with Dr. Paz Rodriguez. He was kind, gracious and patient with all of our questions. We were soon on our way with an appointment to have stem cell therapy in Panama City, Panama!

I am now able to get back to my competitive ballroom dancing and doing well! I have less pain going up and down stairs (even though I am careful and always aware of my knees), I walk easier, exercise and am back to a normal life style. Am I at 100% ? No…but at 62 years old and being athletic all my life with snow skiing, water skiing, volleyball, tennis, racquetball, zoomba and other athletic movements I feel terrific even if I am at 80-90% of my capability! We are back to travelling the world and I am thrilled… I am living my life! And my knee is not dictating my life.

Impression of the clinic: The doctors, staff and driver, Javier were fabulous!!! Everyone made me and my husband feel comfortable and all were compassionate, personable, professional, helpful, friendly and always welcome to keep in touch! They always welcomed all of our questions and never made us feel uncomfortable in asking! Dr. Hernandez was with me all the way and gave me his cell number 24/7 and helped me through the language barrier since my Spanish is quiet weak! Everyone was just great!!!

What would I tell someone considering stem cell therapy: Do your homework… research and get referrals! You have nothing to lose and a life to gain! The Stem Cell Institute is terrific in their work and research! I have told many of my friends and individuals who find out through others that I had stem cell therapy. Unfortunately none have moved forward and try other options and still have no results…I feel sorry for them! Some do…and some do not.

Stem cell therapy for COPD

Email from a COPD patient on Jan 8 to Dr. Paz. We have removed this patient’s name since she has not yet informed her doctors in the US about her treatments in Panama. She received multiple intravenous injections of human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells over the course of several days.

From: REDACTED
Subject: Re: Surveys
Date: January 8, 2014 at 7:48:49 AM EST
To: Jorge Paz Rodriguez

Dr. Paz,

I definitely feel there is an improvement from the 1st to the 2nd treatment. I feel much stronger and feel that I am able to function with a better quality of life. Prior to my 1st and 2nd treatments it was hard for me to keep up with the housekeeping, cooking, laundry and going out to the store for groceries was very hard for me to do. I have more energy to complete the task at hand now. I am able to walk longer distances without having to sit and rest and not getting as winded walking. Going up and down stairs is easier for me to do. I do feel I am making improvements with each treatment.

I have health insurance again and the Dr. here was wanting to do a physical with a chest X-ray to see the change in my COPD since my last X-ray a couple of years ago. I thought I could send you the X-ray on CD so you could compare the X-ray to what I originally sent you. I have not shared with the Dr.’s or anyone here about my treatments in Panama.

Please let me know about the Survey and if you think I should do the X-Ray and send it to you.

Thank you,

REDACTED

Sent from my iPad

2014-01-08T15:19:26+00:00 January 8th, 2014|COPD, COPD, News, Patient Stories|

Multiple sclerosis patient retires his walking stick after umbilical cord-derived stem cell therapy

From: mcgillron
Date: Wed, Nov 27, 2013 at 11:51 AM
Subject: Happy Thanksgiving!
To: edited_for_privacy@cellmedicine.com

Dr Barnett / Dr Hernandez & all staff at Clinic,

It’s a very special Thanksgiving for my household & I owe it to the efforts of all of you!

I’ve been walking without my stick since returning from stem cell therapy. 1 week of holding it for security & going on 3rd week of it riding in truck of my car. My stability is becoming more consistent & controlled. I am walking farther longer, riding bicycle more rhythmic & swimming smoother strokes.

Results are much greater than I expected. I believe the lifestyle changes, vitamin regimen, herbals, exercise & positive attitude adopted 14 months prior to visiting you allowed me to receive maximum benefit from the stem cell therapy.

I look forward to progressing my abilities back to a higher level over the next months.

If you would like me to share what I’ve done & am doing to get my results, feel free to give my email.

Dr Hernandez – please stay in contact on the herbal adjustments I’m making to solve final 2 deficiencies.

THANKS AGAIN for your hospitality & care!

Ron Mc Gill

Stem Cell Therapy for Autism – Ethan’s Journey

We received this message yesterday from Sean and Sarah Collins on Facebook regarding their son Ethan who suffered a mild traumatic brain injury and has symptoms of PDD-NOS and ADHD.

Hi all!

I wanted to update you on Ethan. He is doing fantastic! His cognitive flexibility has dramatically improved. We have reduced another medication and eliminated 2 major medications since we started last April. I have created a FB page if you want to check it out. Thank you so much for helping us get our little boy back!

Sean and Sarah Collins
Stem Cell Therapy for Autism Ethan’s Journey

PDD-NOS stands for Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified. Psychologists and psychiatrists sometimes use the term “pervasive developmental disorders” and “autism spectrum disorders” (ASD) interchangeably. …more information about PDD-NOS