Help me get Cells! Stem cell therapy that is...

For: Johanna Smith
Organizer: Stephen and Johanna Smith
$5,650
of $32,000 goal.
Raised by 38 donors
17% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Hello Everyone,

My name is Johanna Smith, and I have Multiple Sclerosis.  I was diagnosed in December of 2006, just a few weeks after receiving my Bachelor’s degree from UNLV.  It started with cold sensations and numbness in my feet.  It then began to travel up my legs before finally stretching to my mid stomach.  In the blink of an eye, I had gone from feeling on top of the world, to having no feeling from my belly button to my toes.  Scared, confused and unable to walk, I found myself hospitalized and in the care of an apathetic neurologist whose bedside manner left much to be desired.  He informed me that my current condition was the product of Multiple Sclerosis, a disease that I had little to no knowledge of at the time.  In his opinion, I needed to prepare myself for a life in a wheel chair, for I would more than likely never regain my ability to walk.  This was devastating news that left me feeling as cold and numb as the disease itself.  I eventually regained the feeling in my lower extremities as well as my ability walk, but the rollercoaster ride that is Multiple Sclerosis is a constant reminder of how quickly that can change.

Multiple Sclerosis has been labeled the “invisible disease”.  This is due in large part to non-visible symptoms that many of those afflicted with this terrible disease must deal with on a daily basis.  Although a person with MS may look relatively healthy to the casual observer, the disease may have taken its toll behind the scenes.  It may not be until a person is amidst a “flare up” that the symptoms become more evident.  This is true in my case as well.  While my body may look fine outwardly, the constant MRI’s that I must endure tell a different story internally.  Unfortunately the “flare ups” have become stronger and more frequent, and as a result I have been experiencing issues with balance and severe pain in my legs. 

Attempts to slow down the progression of the disease through proven medications like Avonex, as well as newer ones such as Tecfedera have been futile, as they have not reacted well with me.  In fact, the side effects have at times been as bad or worse than the MS itself.   After exhausting all avenues with respect to standard medications, we are forced to look elsewhere for solutions.  Through extensive research, and with the backing of my current neurologist, we have decided that stem cell therapy is and has been my best chance at fighting the MS and possibly repairing some of the damage.  Regrettably, the stem cell therapy is not available United States outside a few limited studies that are being done.  Out of the places that are available, we feel most comfortable with the facilities and the treatment that is currently provided in Panama.  (http://www.cellmedicine.com/

I completed the required application process and have been approved to undergo therapy in Panama.  This procedure is not covered by insurance and therefore the cost will be 100% out-of-pocket.  The cost to have this procedure done is $21,200.00 US dollars.  We will also have to pay for our travel and 2 1/2 weeks stay.  So from the bottom of my heart, I am asking for your help, donations, and support to get stem cell therapy in Panama.  Please pass this on and spread the word. We can use all the help! 

Hugs and Love,

Johanna Smith

Please feel free to follow me on my blog for continued updates currently and when the fundraiser is over:

http://johannamsmith.blogspot.com/

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on October 24, 2013

Posted on October 24, 2013

Hello Everyone,

My last stem cell therapy treatment is now 2 weeks post treatment.  I am feeling good and have renewed energy.  I have been updating videos and blogs on my blog so feel free to check it out so you can know about the details from before, while we were there and now. 

We are still fundraising so please feel free to share with your friends and family.  The hard part was gettin there but now that we are home we have to pay for what we took out a loan to do. 

The amount we raised allowed us to pay for our plane ticket, stay and food while in Panama.  We are so thankful for everyone who has helped us thus far!  =)

You can check out my blog at:  http://johannamsmith.blogspot.com/

Posted on October 1, 2013

Posted on October 1, 2013

The Stem Cell Institue in now performing a new way of treating MS patients with stem cells.  Here is the new process that I will also be doing:

How are the stem cells administered for MS treatment?

The HUCT stem cells are administered intravenously by a licensed physician.  Additional methods may be recommended.

Stem Cell Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis: *Treatment Protocols

Below is an example of a typical multiple sclerosis treatment protocol:

  • Medical evaluation, blood testing (day 1)
  • 2 intravenous injections of human umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (day 2)
  • 1 intravenous injection of HUCT mesenchymal stem cells (day 3)
  • 1 intravenous injection of HUCT mesenchymal stem cells (day 4)

All patients receive a one month supply of Stem Kine supplement (2 jars)  

*After examining each patient’s medical history and other medical information our team of physicians will recommend a specific treatment protocol.  Your recommended protocol may differ from the example given above.

What about follow-up after I return home?

We want to help our patients and we care about how you are doing after you return home.  Proper follow-up also helps us evaluate treatment efficacy and improve our multiple sclerosis treatment protocol based on observed outcomes.

Therefore, one of our staff will be contacting you after 1 month, 3 months, 4 months, and 1 year after the treatment to follow up on your condition.


Posted on September 23, 2013

Posted on September 23, 2013

Please do not forget to check out my blog at:

http://johannamsmith.blogspot.com/

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