New lease of life following Multiple Sclerosis Stem Cell Treatment
A Woman with Multiple Sclerosis gets a new lease of life following stem cell treatment
After being told she had up to only five years to live, Shanna Chapman underwent life changing, experimental therapy to treat the Multiple Sclerosis that she had been diagnosed with.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a condition which attacks your brain and spinal cord. When you have MS, your nerves (myelin) are no longer being protected by the coating around the nerve as it is damaged. When this coating is not working properly, it causes a wide range of symptoms that include, but are not confined to vision problems, tingling and numbness, pains and spasms, weakness or fatigue.
If you are diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis, it is a lifelong condition, but as Shanna Chapman discovered there are stem cell therapies, using MSC stem cells that could dramatically improve your quality of life.
In the UK More than 100,000 people have Multiple Sclerosis and in America there are 400,000 people thought to have the condition. Worldwide there are up to 2.5 million people who suffer with the condition.
While many people are diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in their 40s and 50s, symptoms of the condition surface much sooner than the first diagnosis and MS affects almost three times the number of women as it does men.
“I was a prisoner of my own body”
In February, Chapman was facing an early death, and the final years of her life were going to be incredibly painful and difficult. As a result of her MS condition, she had to walk with a cane, and often when MS became extremely painful, she would have to use a walker or a wheelchair.
Shanna Chapman, said: “I was a prisoner of my own body and a prisoner in my home.”
Chapman was in her secondary progression of Multiple Sclerosis and was given the prognosis of 2-5 years to live.
Shanna Chapman, said “My legs were weak, and I hadn’t been able to bend my knees in a long time”.
“When the disease attacks the myelin sheath along your nerves, it creates holes in it, so the electrical impulses from the brain sending signals along those nerves are interrupted. Once the disease progresses to the brain stem, which controls the automatic systems of the body like your heartbeat and breathing, that’s it, you’re done.”
Experimental Stem Cell Treatment
In late February, Chapman travelled to California to an experimental stem cell surgery, where she had operation to try and improve her quality of life. Surgeons collected MCS stem cells and re-infused them into her body to start working immediately. As the surgeons used her own stem cells, this meant there was no risk of her body rejecting them.
“At my last visit to the neurologist, I had failed every medication I’d ever been on,” she said. “From that point on, I would just see steadily decline. I heard of this surgery and knew it was my last option. I was willing to try it, even if it did nothing.”
The surgeons injected the stem cells into her nose and into her spine. The next day, Chapman got out of bed without any assistance or having to use her upper body strength to push her body out of bed. Chapman flew home and was shocked to realise that she wasn’t needing to use her cane or her walker.
Before the treatment, Chapman had been using medications to her ease her condition, but now says she doesn’t need to use those medications.
Chapman said: “It was unreal,” she said. “As someone who is in the medical field, if I had a patient who came to my office and told me this, I wouldn’t have believed it. I’m proof that miracles happen.”
“This has given me back my independence”
Following the surgery, Chapman has been progressing leaps and bounds, she is able to walk and is hoping to go dancing again soon as the myelin sheath continues to regenerate and heal her. She is also now able to drive again.
“The first time I drove, I was like a giddy 16-year-old with her license,” she said. “I had not been able to drive in so long. My husband, Russell, had to quit his job at EFCO and become self-employed so he could take me to appointments and take care of me. As the disease progressed, I’ve fallen down the stairs, and once, I went unconscious. He never complained, but I felt like such a burden.”
Chapman has become an advocate for stem cell therapies, she said: “I wish everyone [who needs it] could get it, if they have a diagnosis of Parkinson’s, dementia or MS, this should be the first line of treatment. Think of the savings – not just in quality of life, but the millions spent on medications and the familial stress that goes along with this kind of illness. It could all be avoided.”
“There is the potential to impact so many lives,” she said. “It’s amazing. Why wouldn’t you choose to use stem cell treatment over medications to treat any progressive disease? Cancer, diabetes, heart disease, emphysema, the possibilities are endless. This is ground breaking. It’s huge.”
Chapman is now awaiting her MRI scan which has been organised after three-month, this MRI scan hopefully will be able to tell doctors how she is progressing and allow her to look forward to the future.
“I have a new outlook on life. I appreciate it more. You take for granted so many little things, like going to the grocery store, driving, stopping for gas. This has given me back my independence. I don’t feel like a burden to everyone. I look forward to my kids having babies and to being a grandmother. Two weeks ago, I didn’t think I would see that.”