Archive for December, 2009|Monthly archive page


In HOPE AND INSPIRATION on December 31, 2009 at 12:08 am

Shane recently received his first Repair Stem Cell treatment for Spinal Cord Injury.

He has this to say…

Hello All,

First, let me begin by wishing all of you a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holidays for all my friends of faith. Regardless of our individual beliefs, we all cling to hope of a better world and brighter futures for our children. Nowhere has this been more obvious to me than right here at the treatment center. I have been attended to by Buddhist, Hindus, Muslims and Christians. Different people of different faiths have all provided different services but with one common goal of rendering the best care for their patients. I am not about to deliver a sermon to anyone…God knows that I’m poorly qualified to do this. With the Holy season of Christmas fast approaching, it’s just something I’ve noticed. Now some quick highlights and I’ll close with my Don’t Be Stupid tag line.

The highlights:

I got my latest spinal tap this Friday. Unlike the other time, the Dr. had a difficult time inserting the needle into my spine. This time, they moved pretty quickly in the process of administering the valium. They did not wait until I was completely out. I was groggy, but awake…somewhat anyway.  So, each time the surgeon would begin, I’d flinch and tighten my back and compress my spine. When this happens, it reduces the gap in between the vertebrae. This kind of makes it hard to accomplish the task without forcing it. I am sure that they did not want me to come all the way here just to go home in a wheelchair. Well it took four attempts, but finally, success.  When the delayed drugs wore off…you can imagine the back pain I had.

With 3 more injections to go, I’m deliberating whether or not to go via the spinal tap method.  We are all still adjusting and are adapting well. They really do try here and take their time explaining everything. One more thing I’ve noticed, the docs here are all polite and humble. Back in the US, I have run into more with a God complex than the healers they’re supposed to be.  This is a society that’s run for the most part by the govt. You will not become wealthy as a doctor here. If you choose to be a doctor in this country, your doing it purely for the passion of helping people…at least this has been my experience.

We continue to get new folks arriving every day. I do my best to meet them all. They come from all parts of the world. All of them are seeking the keys for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We have become a motley group of sorts…and i don’t mean the glam band from the 80’s. Yes, I was a fan. Now, that we’ve got another Shane confession out there, we can move forward. This place is more like Ellis island, with hundreds of families seeking one thing…much in the same way that so many immigrants sought a new future and freedom from persecution from their places of birth to our shores. Here at this place, many come seeking freedom from their physical limitations and afflictions.

Sadly, much like the story of our nation; some will not find the answers they seek or the relief they want. But the hope, the promise is enough for many of them to risk all that they may have for the children. You know, it’s giving me a new appreciation for my parents and all the familiarity that they left behind, the risks taken so that their children may have a chance at a brighter future.

Many of the stories are downright tragic. There are victims of drowning, boating accidents, genetic conditions and others.  Some families seemed to be especially hard hit. There’s a Brazilian family here with not just one but three children that suffer from blindness and neurological issues that affect motor skills, speech, coordination and such. It has been emotionally draining for me with my swinging wildly from hope to despair and back again. One wonders what type of God would allow this to happen to the most innocent of his children. I don’t have the answers to this question. I believe it’s an individual quest with individual answers that will hopefully shed light prior to the end of our time here in this life. With most answers not crystal clear, we cling to the only thing that any of us really have…hope. Now I want to make my “don’t be stupid” point. What I should say is” “Don’t be like me.”

Prior to all this happening, I was always too busy to take more time with my wife, kids, family and friends. Work always seemed to come first, last and everything in between. It certainly was the case at my last place of employment. Nobody really knows what the future holds. So, don’t be stupid. When your spouse suggests that the two of you get away for awhile…do it. When your kids would like you home to have dinner with you, leave the office at 5 so you can fight traffic and be there before the food gets cold. When your family and friends need you in their times of need, drop what you’re doing and show up and help them thru their most difficult times. When your aging and at times…crusty parents want you to come visit, go do it. Do it no matter what the costs are from the professional perspective.

Now, I know that we all need to work and provide for our families. What I’m suggesting is that we take the time to conduct audits from time to time. Track how your spending your time and with whom. We men need to be weary of the breadwinner trap.  For me, the fact that I went to work to provide for my family, made me feel I was entitled to some things…right? The least of which was time for myself. You know, this is so much easier than the things my wife deals with everyday. The kids, doctors visits, countless trips to school because our lovable tornados left something at home…yet again, meetings with teachers…you Mom’s know exactly what I’m talking about. If at the end of your audit over 60 days, your raw objective data proves that your heavily tilted towards work…and your spouse is beginning to give you that  stare…then I suggest you look for work elsewhere.  If they try to make you feel guilty or question your commitment to the company, let me ask you.

Do you really want to work for anyone that does not support your concern for your family? Often these companies make stupid short term choices, take poor risks, and make bold and unrealistic claims to investors and bankers. And when the money people come to call in their markers, the employees suffer and the families suffer. No amount of money or stock options are worth losing your relationships with your spouse, kids an family…trust me, I came close to losing all of it. Now, if you’re fortunate enough to work for a company or boss that not only talks the talk but also walks the walk of family values and corporate governance, hold tight with both hands. What you have there is more precious than diamonds. I am not talking perfection but striving everyday to do right by the people that make any business run.

But you know…God is good. In spite of my mistakes, my family and friends have stepped in to provide moral, financial, logistical and emotional help. All of you have been extraordinary. Each time of this year Bob with Cross would encourage me to focus on my family, hug on the kids until they fought to get away and hug them some more, spend time with my wife and really reflect on what I have to be really thankful for. You know, I can’t really top that advice other than the fact I should have followed it much closer and sooner.

Take care my friends and loved one’s. Thanks for being in my life please continue to pray for all those that maybe suffering, our leaders and…As a favor to me, give your families what I struggled so hard to give…

Your time.

I will write again soon.



In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on December 29, 2009 at 8:20 pm


I want to welcome you to the STEM CELL TREATMENT FUND RAISING INITIATIVE and wish you and yours Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

Over the past year, many patients asked me for fund raising help and despite a ridiculous pre-existing workload, I could not deny their requests for help any longer.  Well, no good deed goes unpunished!  This little grass roots project created on a wing and a prayer and meant to help the few is quickly growing by leaps and bounds!  There has been an incredible amount of positive response!

In the near future, I am going to expand the tactics and services available so all can participate with a variety of options, regardless of their budget or condition. I am looking forward to fact finding meetings coming up after the New Year with fund raising officers from the University of Pennsylvania and the Templeton Foundation. I’m also looking into setting up some raffles to generate donations for treatment.  If anyone has new ideas on fund raising tactics, please let me know.  If anyone has found something to work exceedingly well, please let me know!

Some of you may have already received the information below but I wanted to make sure everyone was on the email list so they could receive future mailings.  Best of luck to all in their FUND RAISING endeavors and please let me know if I can be of further assistance!

Please email me at dsgrano@gmail.com to receive the free primer: Fund Raising Tactics for Stem Cell Treatments in WORD and PDF formats. Review the information within and contact me with any questions.

FYI, To find the best treatment center in the world for treating a particular disorder; fill out the  treatment request formIf you would like to be signed up for a free one year subscription to my Stem Cell newsletter, reply with the word NEWSLETTER.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me.
Please keep me informed on your progress.
Best of luck –



PFIZER BUYS STEM CELL COMPANY ATHERSYS & Acquires Stem-Cell Therapy Product MulitStem


Published: December 21, 2009 – Pfizer said Sunday that it was buying the rights to a somewhat controversial cell therapy from Athersys, a biotechnology company — a sign of big pharmaceutical companies’ growing interest in (ADULT or REPAIR)  stem cells.

Why is this controversial? There are no embryos involved.  These are adult or repair stem cells.  There are thousands of clinical trials and tens of thousands of scholarly papers showing their safety and efficacy.  If a new cancer drug comes out that is not through all stages of clinical trials it is not controversial; why is this? -dg

Athersys’s cells, derived from human bone marrow (these are Adult or Repair Stem Cells, not embryonic – dg), have not yet been tested in people with inflammatory bowel disease, a term that encompasses ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. But the product, called MultiStem, is in early human testing as a treatment for heart attacks and for cancer patients receiving bone marrow transplants.

Pfizer will have the rights to develop Athersys’s cells to treat inflammatory bowel diseases, the companies are expected to announce on Monday.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome + Crohn's Disease Treatment Info

CLICK PICTURE for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Colitis, Crohn's Disease Treatment Info


Pfizer will pay Athersys $6 million initially and up to $105 million in the future.  Athersys [ NASDAQ:ATHX ] soared as high as $3.95 today on the news and has leveled off to $2.80, a 180% gain by noon today.)

via Pfizer Acquires MultiStem, a Therapy Based on Stem Cells – NYTimes.com.

For more info:


In SCIENCE & STEM CELLS on December 11, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Nerve-cell transplants help brain-damaged rats fully recover lost ability to learn


ScienceDaily (Dec. 11, 2009) Nerve cells transplanted into brain-damaged rats helped them to fully recover their ability to learn and remember, probably by promoting nurturing, protective growth factors, according to a new study.

via HERE


In ALL ARTICLES, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on December 9, 2009 at 10:15 pm
Hodgkin's lymphoma cells. This form of cancer begins in a lymph node—often in the neck—then progresses to other nodes. (Photograph by Andrejs Liepins. Reproduced by permission of Photo Researchers, Inc.)

Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer cells begin in a lymph node—often in the neck—then progress to other nodes.






In 2003, 13 year-old Kirk Lee was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a disease that affects the body’s lymph nodes.

Kirk Lee first noticed something was wrong when he detected a knot on his neck. His grandmother Carolyn Lee said he was taken to the hospital and consequently diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. He was immediately transported to Jackson for surgery to remove tissue from his lungs and undergo chemotherapy.

After receiving radiation, chemotherapy and some experimental treatment in Jackson, Lee still had third-stage lymphoma, meaning the disease was in his abdomen and his neck. (1)

When neither of those treatments was successful, he was taken for stem cell transplant therapy.

That stem cell treatment put his illness into remission.

*     * *     *     *

To see if you are a candidate for stem cell treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, click here [ REQUEST INFO ]

Hodgkin's Disease (After Chemotherapy)

via story


In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on December 9, 2009 at 4:39 pm

I recently created a treatment fund raising strategy for patients.  Email me at dsgrano@gmail.com with the words “FUND RAISING” in the subject line and I will send you a primer on FUND RASING TACTICS.  All are welcome and this information is free of cost.


In RELIGION & STEM CELLS on December 9, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Science vs. Religion: Solved? (hardly. my comments below)

Despite their inevitable conflicts–science, religion and New Age spirituality are essentially compatible and complementary activities.

“Until recently it seemed that the continued expansion of scientific ways of thinking was destined to render religion extinct and spirituality unfeasible. But the example of the United States disproves this, since America is the most successful scientific nation of this era, church-going remains strong and New Age spiritualities are thriving. Therefore, despite the obvious conflicts; science, religion and spirituality are essentially compatible.”

First of all, I have a problem with the statement “America is the most” anything when the era is not over and we are already losing ground significantly to much of the world.

“Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development finds that Americans are below average in science competency. Among OECD countries, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Turkey and Mexico have lower mean scores than the US; Sweden, Hungary, Ireland, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, Germany, Korea, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada and Finland, as well as students in the combined area of the European Union, have higher mean scores than the US. Denmark, France, Iceland, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Norway and Luxembourg cannot be distinguished from US performance with statistical significance.” (1)

Second, you can’t use a backwards looking statement as a forward looking argument.  To paraphrase: “America WAS a scientific force so science and religion ARE compatible and will continue to become more so in the future?”  Third, what about all of those “death of religion” articles I keep reading?  Ok, this is a morass so let’s stick to America as a leader in science.

America is NOT the most successful scientific nation of this era…especially when it comes to stem cell treatments.

“…since few people can afford to travel outside the country for adult stem cell treatments, ESC-crazed America, the Bangladesh of stem cells, with its focus on “treatment useless” research, and 4-8 years behind the rest of the world on available adult stem cell treatments, has become exactly that, a death row prison cell for those suffering from so-called untreatable diseases.”

From https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/screw-the-embryos-they%e2%80%99re-irrelevant/

USA Falling Behind

While many nations have taken the innovation challenge to heart and put in place a host of policies to spur innovation, the United States has done little, consequently falling behind in innovation policies and risking falling behind in innovation performance as well.

via NCBI ROFL: Science vs. Religion: Solved..


In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on December 5, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Stem Cells Reshape Breasts After Cancer

Four-Fifths of Women Satisfied With Cosmetic Results Following Breast Cancer Surgery,By Charlene Laino
WebMD Health News,Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Dec. 17, 2007 (San Antonio) — In a medical first, researchers have used stem cells to help reshape the breasts of women who have undergone a lumpectomy to remove a breast tumor.

In a small study, nearly four-fifths of women who got injections of stem cells derived from their own fat tissue were satisfied with the cosmetic results.

During a lumpectomy, surgeons take out only the tumor and surrounding tissue, sparing the remainder of the breast. Radiation is typically given afterward to kill any missed cancer cells.

While the goal is to preserve as much of the breast as possible, the procedures can leave a woman with a scarred, misshapen, and cratered breast.

Currently, there’s not much doctors can offer these women, says Eric Daniels, MD, a surgeon at Cytori Therapeutics. Cytori developed the device used in the stem cell treatment but was not involved in the new study.

“The defect is too small to make her a candidate for the breast implants [offered to women who have a breast removed during a mastectomy],” he says.

Doctors can try rearranging the breast tissue that is left or modifying the other breast to match the flawed one, says Sameer Patel, MD, a reconstructive surgeon at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia that was not involved with the work.

But this involves surgery and can leave additional scars. “It’s far from ideal,” he tells WebMD.

Stem Cells Overcome Problems With Fat Implants

Patel says that injections of fat tissue have been tried, but the fat is often reabsorbed or dies.

That happens, he says, primarily because of a poor blood supply between the implanted fat cells and the breast cells.

That’s where stem cells — those miraculous master cells that have the potential to form many other types of cells — come in.

While the research is still early, it is thought that the stem cells develop into the cells needed to form new blood vessels.

“The stem cells likely stimulate the breast tissue to make new blood vessels,” Daniels says. The new blood vessels supply oxygen and nourishment to the implanted cells, keeping the graft alive.

It’s possible, but unlikely, that the procedure actually builds new fat tissue, he says.

Stem Cell Injections Increase Breast Thickness

The new study involved 21 women who had undergone a lumpectomy. Using liposuction, fat was removed from their abdomens, hips, thighs, or lower backs. Half was set aside as the main implant material.  The rest of the fat was processed so that only stem cells and other types of tissue capable of regeneration were left behind.

The stem cell juice was then combined with the reserved fat and injected into the area of the breast defect. The procedure takes about three hours.  Six months after treatment, 79% of 19 women surveyed were satisfied with the results, says researcher Keizo Sugimachi, MD, president of Kyushu Central Hospital in Fukuoka, Japan. He presented the findings here at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

In addition, the improvement in breast tissue thickness that was observed at one month persisted at six months.  That’s how the researchers know it is working, Daniels says. If the fat tissue hadn’t been supercharged, a portion probably would have died off during the six-month period, he tells WebMD.

“The work is in its infancy but shows a lot of promise,” Patel says.  Cytori Therapeutics plans to undertake two additional studies of the technique in Europe and Japan next year.

via Stem Cells Reshape Breasts After Cancer.

Breathing Easier with Adult Stem Cells

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on December 3, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Several recent reports, using animal models, provide evidence for treating lung disorders with adult stem cells.

Premature babies are often placed on ventilators to deliver oxygen and expand underdeveloped lungs, but the high oxygen and mechanical ventilation can lead to lung inflammation, inhibit proper lung growth, and lead to long-term complications. Work out of Children’s Hospital in Boston found that bone marrow stromal cells, a type of adult stem cell, can reduce inflammation in lung tissue. Using newborn mice as a model, the researchers injected adult bone marrow stem cells intravenously. The cells migrated to the lungs and prevented inflammation. The cells seem to work by secreting protective and stimulatory factors that help the lung cells and blood vessels; the same effects could be obtained by injecting the growth medium in which the adult stem cells had been grown. The results are published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Similar results have been published by an international team, led by Canadian scientist Dr. Bernard Thébaud at the Stollery Children’s Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta. Using a rat model, the scientists found that adult stem cells from bone marrow could repair lung damage in newborn rats as well as prevent further damage. According to Dr. Thébaud:

“The really exciting thing that we discovered was that stem cells are like little factories, pumping out healing factors.”

These results are also published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

More breathable news comes from a team in South Korea led by Dr. Won Soon Park from the Samsung Medical Center. Using newborn laboratory rats with oxygen-deprived lung injury, the researchers found that mesenchymal stem cells, a type of adult stem cell from umbilical cord blood, had a protective effect against low-oxygen-induced lung injury. They noted that their findings could have important therapeutic potential for the currently untreatable hyperoxic neonatal lung disease, or bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), in premature human infants. The easy availability of umbilical cord blood is also an associated benefit. The results are published in the journal Cell Transplantation.

And in a final breath of adult stem cell fresh air, a team at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine identified adult stem cells in the bone marrow of mice that could prevent and treat acute lung injury. The researchers discovered a way to grow and stimulate the adult stem cells, and when injected into mice with acute lung injury, the cells repaired the lung injury, prevented fluid build-up and improved survival of the mice. Results were published in the journal Stem Cells.

So take a deep breath in appreciation of adult stem cells.

via FRC Blog » Breathing Easier with Adult Stem Cells.

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