The Soldier and the Squirrel introduces children to the Purple Heart

through a loving story of a friendship between a newly wounded soldier

and Rocky the squirrel with his backyard friends. This story began as a

blog during my first year in bed after my incident. With much

encouragement, it is now a book and has been placed in the

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum. Please watch the video

on the About page to learn for the Soldier & Rocky are changing children's






Glorious Rejoice Dots Glitter





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My Stem Cell Procedure and Why It's Different 

We are driving through the Arizona desert from Los Angeles on our way to Scottsdale for my Transplant tomorrow morning! Finally, my Stem Cell Transplant is here! Some have asked how it's possible to have this done in the United States. This doctor is the ONLY doctor FDA approved in the US to perform this very specific type of Stem Cell Transplant. Normally you can have cells extracted in the US then spun and sent to a facility in Cancun for example where your actual transplant would take place days later. It would cost around 20g and require multiple sessions 4-5 times over a period of a year or so. Both of these issues make it extremely difficult for most any chronic pain patient. 

Dr. Malan specialized in this protocol in Europe and has performed over 3,000 procedures. The FDA certified Dr. Malan to perform this procedure in the US due to its success and with it considered a 'trial' to discover the safety and efficacy of the reintroduction of Stem Cells to a patient and the long term effects of doing so. That said, this is how his protocol differs. Instead of 5-10 million cells, he extracts a hundred to hundreds of millions at one time, and transplants them in the same day, a 4-6 hour process, and on an out-patient basis. One time. One procedure. Your progress is then followed over the following five years to be documented in the trial. 

This type of stem cell transplant is autologous cell therapy -Stromal vascular fraction- containing adult mesenschymal stem cells concentrating on treating degenerative or inflammatory conditions. Approximately 90% of pain is caused by inflammation. One effect of this procedure is the elimination of inflammation, damaged cells, and the promulgation of healthy cells literally rebuilding the body where it's needed. The cells intuitively know where the inflamed areas of the body are and like an army march in to repair. Along with the IV Transplant, he also creates a Stem Cell Paste and will coat the affected area of my spine. Many people have asked if this is the kind of therapy a cancer patient might look into. It is not. A patient with active cancer is not a candidate for stromal vascular fraction deployment research. 

The conditions for which I am undergoing this transplant are Arachnoiditis (the hardening and bonding (by turning into plaque) of  the nerves within the dura of the spinal cord, as well as CRPS or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome of the spine. Both of these conditions are above childbirth and phantom limb on the McGill Pain Scale. Both are considered incurable, but if can have phases of remission.  


I have tried every possible treatment under the sun (well, my sun anyway) and have researched Stem Cell treatments for three years now. It wasn't until a dear friend of mine, Tootie (yes her personality is reflective of her name!) introduced me to Dr. Malan after she underwent his Stem Cell protocol for Arachnoiditis in her spine and CRPS (of her foot). Talk about a friend you can relate to! Hers was about three months ago. Our lives had paralleled with bed containment or laying prone 80-90% of the day - although she still did everything in her being possible to still trudge through each day, the tears were never-ending behind closed doors. We've endured flares requiring repeated hospitalizations and spinal contractions lasting weeks to months at a time every 10-20 minutes around the clock. An existence of survival more than that of a life. Although we both have tried our best to make the most out of our situations, putting on a brave face for our loved ones and living for life between flares, never in our wildest dreams did we ever think there could actually be hope. Real hope. 

Within 48 hours of Tootie's transplant she could move the toes in her affected foot that hadn't moved since 2003, and she is now back to living the life she dreamed of - up at 8am and until 10 at night. Now, this doesn't mean she is completely out of the woods, that pain episodes are gone forever - our conditions are complicated and the post-operative healing process is a roller-coaster with 6-9 months on Colossus, but her world is actually hers again. She is once again the mother and wife she wanted to be for so long.  She smiles from the inside, not with just a painted expression for others to appreciate. 

Her heart is lighter and most days seem shorter as they are now something to enjoy rather than endure. All of this I hope my life to be, and I'll have her to thank for everything my life might be able to become. And for once I sense the a stir in my core that seems to occur when God has a plan in mind. Whatever the outcome I have never been more ready to have faith not only in the plan, but in myself and everything I believe I can be.







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