Yesterday we met with a doctor with the Cleveland Clinic about stem cell studies. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Ryan has been anti anything that would harm Dean in the long run. He is very cautious by nature and doesn’t believe in doing anything medically unnecessary. I understand where he is coming from but I also have a lot of hope when I hear of new medical advances. I think the 2 of us do a great job in balancing Dean’s care.
The doctor we saw explained that there are many different types of stem cells, I had no idea. They can come from bone marrow, fat cells, cord blood, etc. They can also help many different different diseases and conditions. In our case with Dean it seems as though cord blood would be his best option. Cord blood has been studied to improve whole brain connectivity and motor function. So far there hasn’t really been any downfall to using stem cell treatment, yes it might not work, but it shouldn’t cause any harm to him.
He also explained that there was no benefit to having Dean do stem cell treatment now versus waiting another year or 2. We also don’t really have many options to do it now. Duke University was working on a study where they gave patients with Cerebral Palsy their own cord blood stem cells. However, we did not save Dean’s cord blood. Now it seems like a big mistake but when we considered it we were looking at the cost vs what they could do with it. For some reason after we found out about the stroke it never came up again. So our next option is to save the cord blood if we decided to have another child. Hopefully that would be a match and Dean could use it. Duke is starting a new trial giving sibling cord blood, so at least there is an option. Stanford University is also doing stem cell trials, however, right now they are for adults only.
For right now we are not making any decisions on it. Dean is doing amazing and the therapies we have chosen seem to be working well. I am lucky we have options and we able to discuss them with someone so knowledgeable on the subject.
I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas. We will be celebrating the last night of Hanukkah tonight and Christmas in Ohio, then off to Florida for a week of relaxation. I am pretty sure it was just 3 weeks ago I swore I would never fly with this boy again!