DAVID GRANOVSKY

Posts Tagged ‘scleroderma’

SHE WASN’T DEAD ENOUGH FOR STEM CELLS IN THE US

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on June 19, 2014 at 9:22 am

Finding no promising treatment programs in the United States, and nothing that would be covered by her health insurance, Cristy traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, in 2011 for a life-saving stem-cell transplant

WHY!

CRISTY SCT
University of Hawaii Professor, Stem Cell Transplant Surgery Survivor and author of “5 Steps To Being Your Own Patient Advocate” is taking her “5 Steps Movement” on the road in July….

Cristy Kessler, Ed.D., NBCT

With over 19 years of teaching experience, Dr. Cristy Kessler has been motivating audiences of all ages with her message of determination, survival, faith, and hope. Cristy has a natural ability for speaking to large groups of people of all ages and a style of speaking that helps them feel like they’re sitting in her living room.

Cristy Kessler has been a role model for countless students from 5th grade through university whose lives she has touched as a social studies teacher, coach, and associate professor in education at the University of Hawaii. This, in spite of a lifetime of pain and a constant battle with health issues throughout her life.

A three-sport standout in high school, Cristy coached both soccer and basketball, including a five-year stint as coach for TourneySport USA in Hawaii. She earned her doctorate in educational leadership and innovation in 2003, and as part of her commitment to being the best teacher and role model she could be, she achieved certification through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), even though this certification is generally recognized as a program for K-12 teachers. Rarely has a university professor sought (or achieved) this recognition, but Cristy did exactly that in 2005, even as she was recovering from cancer surgery. In her role as an associate professor at the university, she has guided scores of teachers through successful achievement of NBPTS certification.

Plagued by constant pain and fatigue, Cristy was finally diagnosed in 2006 with a constellation of auto-immune diseases: scleroderma, ankylosing spondylitis, and vasculitis, any one of which is ultimately fatal. Following years of treatment for the symptoms of these disorders, it became clear that the only way to save her life was to somehow tackle the diseases themselves, not just the symptoms. Finding no promising treatment programs in the United States, and nothing that would be covered by her health insurance, Cristy traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, in 2011 for a life-saving stem-cell transplant at Anadolu Hospital, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University. Extensive fund-raising efforts by friends and family helped make this incredible journey a reality.

The transplant succeeded such that Cristy has a brand-new immune system and has resumed her work with university students and teachers. She continues to look for opportunities to inspire and encourage others through the story of her determination to live, even in the face of chronic pain and imminent death.

Dr. Kessler recently released a new book, “5 Steps To Being Your Own Patient Advocate” and is touring in July in support of the book.

Check out the current tour schedule at:
http://www.5stepstobeingyourownpatientadvocate.com

“My Health. My Body. My Voice….Learning To Live Tour” campaign:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/my-health-my-body-my-voice-learning-to-live-tour/x/3387656

You can read Cristy’s compelling story at:
http://www.cristykessler.com

Youtube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoL–mQB2KXhcVkJXxMZwFg

STEM CELLS FOR SCLERODERMA

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on January 25, 2013 at 9:05 am

One day, people will use stem cell treatments as the first course of action instead of the last and save themselves a lot of money, time and suffering.  We can only hope! – DG

“I need money for my stem cell transplant. That’s kind of my last option. I’ve tried everything else.” – Cat David

Cat Davis

Cat Davis receives stem cell transplant

Published On: Jan 24 2013 04:43:05 AM PST  Updated On: Jan 24 2013 04:40:32 PM PST

SPOKANE, Wash. -

It’s an incredible day of victory for a Spokane woman, who thought she may not live to see it. Cat Davis, whose story we’ve been following since last fall, has now received the stem-cell transplant that will likely save her life.

Four months ago, it looked like today would never come. Four months ago, Cat sat in her North Spokane living room and said, “I need money for my stem cell transplant. That’s kind of my last option. I’ve tried everything else.”

Scleroderma had taken so much away from the vibrant woman in her mid-20’s. Her skin and organs have been hardening for years, her esophagus was so narrowed, she couldn’t eat solid foods. Every day was a race against the clock. If the disease goes too far in her heart and lungs, there’s nothing they can do. Time and money were against her. So were the odds.

Spokane rallied. Through coffee and pizza and fun runs and ice cream, the community raised more than $170,000 to help pay for the transplant and other medical expenses. They were touched by her smile and positive attitude. Her story stretched around the world.

Thursday morning in a hospital room in Chicago, Cat got that stem-cell transplant, marking the first day of the rest of her life.

“Transplant is complete! Cat has 14.2 million brand new baby cells circulating in her blood stream It all went as planned.” Cat’s mom Sally emailed those words to Cat’s friends and family Thursday morning. The past few days have been hell for Cat, as chemotherapy killed off her immune system and made her terribly sick. Cat’s mom counted down the days leading to transplant day as “minus one” and “minus two” and so forth.

Thursday, a new day.

“A long battle lies ahead,” Sally wrote. “We will win the victory. This is Day 0. From now on we count the days as pluses. No more minuses.”

Now, the recovery. Cat will spend the next 10 days or so in Chicago, recovering. Then, it’s back to Spokane for a long road to full strength. Cat and her family feel the love and prayers all the way from Spokane. Cat’s family and friends decorated her room with purple hearts, made at Ben and Jerry’s in Spokane during a fundraising drive last year.

“We have saved them all this time for this day,” Sally Davis wrote. “They are precious. One of my favorite says, “Fight like a girl!”

She’s been fighting long enough. Now, it’s time for Cat to rest and get well. And, know that everyone in Spokane is behind her.

Her journey so far has touched so many lives. Now, it’s time to save her own.

Stem Cell Transplant Helps Hawaii Professor Live

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on January 19, 2012 at 9:14 am

ADULT Stem Cell Transplant Helps Hawaii Professor Live

kessler stem cell

University of Hawaii associate professor, Cristy Kessler, was suffering from a rare combination of three different autoimmune diseases:

  1. Vasculitis,
  2. Scleroderma,
  3. Akylosing Spondyliitis.

The pain was so bad, that, in her own words, she was “preparing to die.” She was constantly on a combination of prescription pain medications including morphine and vicadin, and could barely walk down the street.

Stem cell transplant looked like the only viable option for Cristy, but because the procedure is not approved by the FDA or covered by insurance, she would have to look overseas for options.

Because her disease was still in the early phase, doctors were optimistic about her prognosis. In March 2010, Dr. Zafer Gulbas led the taxing two month long procedure consisting of chemotherapy, frequent blood tests, and isolation.

Although long term results won’t be measured for some time, the stem cell transplant seems to have been a success. Kessler is now off the prescription pain medications that she previously depended on just to function, and has a new life. Her immune system is fragile and she is dependent on antibiotics, but says she now wants to enjoy music and “dance like a fool” without being in pain. Watch the video from KITV Honolulu

Stem Cell Transplant Helps Hawaii Professor Live.

New Study Using Combination of Bioengineered Skin and Stem Cells Shows Promise in Treatment of Non-Healing Wounds | LifeSciencesWorld

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on March 5, 2009 at 12:21 am

skinNew Study Using Combination of Bioengineered Skin and Stem Cells Shows Promise in Treatment of Non-Healing Wounds

posted on 05/03/2009

Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease that leads to thickening and severe scarring of skin as well as thickening and failure of internal organs, including the lungs, heart, kidneys and intestines. The disease — which the Scleroderma Foundation estimates affects approximately 300,000 Americans — can be fatal and there is no cure. A major and incapacitating complication of scleroderma is the development of ulcers on the patients’ fingers and toes that are very painful and difficult to heal. Now, researchers are studying the viability of administering stem cells topically to ulcerated fingers using bioengineered skin to help heal these wounds.

via New Study Using Combination of Bioengineered Skin and Stem Cells Shows Promise in Treatment of Non-Healing Wounds | LifeSciencesWorld.

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