More Positive Results on Stem Cell Treatments in Costa Rica

I would like to start by introducing myself. My name is Curt Renard and I am the stepfather of Ryan Benton. Ryan, as most of you may recall, is the person that started a great deal of discussion in November, when our local TV station aired his story regarding stem cell treatments in Costa Rica.


Ryan has received a total of three stem cell treatments over a 13 month period and is doing great. A couple of months after his second treatment, we had a biopsy done by a surgeon in Wichita, KS, who has no affiliation with the clinic in CR. The biopsy was sent to Athena Diagnostics in Boston, the same lab that tested Ryan’s biopsy in 1994. The results stated: “This individual possesses normal muscle dystrophin and therefore is unlikely to be affected with Duchenne or Becker muscular dystrophy”.


I have remained silent on the PPMD blogs regarding this topic. However, I have read most everything that was posted, nearly all of which has been positive. I have decided to lift my silence, because we can no longer ignore the positive results that stem cell treatments are providing DMD afflicted people.


I have spoke individually with several PPMD parents over the past six months. Through these conversations I have surmised that the vast majority of you would volunteer for a stem cell trial. I believe its time to put some resources towards a trial that includes all different age groups and regression states.


Ryan is 24 years old and has been in a wheelchair for over 12 years. He would never have been selected for a trial, since the results are now based on a 6-minute walk. We are very fortunate that we have a personal relationship with Dr. Riordan and that his desire to help Ryan as a friend was the reason he was selected as the first DMD patient to receive these treatments.


Last night a local TV station that hosts the MDA telethon aired a second stem cell story about another boy here in Wichita who last summer, received similar stem cell treatments to Ryan's. Ian Conner has only received the one treatment and has had similar success to Ryan.


Please follow the below link to the KAKE website. Then click on the corresponding video on the right side of the page.


Muscular Dystrophy Sufferers Hope New Treatment Can Answer Prayers


This is REAL HOPE.

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Very rightly said, we need proof.

So an individual Ryan and family took the first step. There can be so many reasons for this one of this could be even "there was nothing to loose". Even a crude paper was published about the claims being made.

Now as a community the choice is ours to either appriciate Ryan's attempt or wait for process of writing papers and treating mice.

Personally if I were in a position to make decisions I would have requested Curtis to allow me get one more biopsy. Its not a big effort or a big expense, and I can make sure one way or the other.

I need time and cannot waste that.
I guess we each have to decide for ourselves what is worth "celebrating" and what is not. The only way to get more information and more proof, is to begin some type of clincial trials here in our own country. We can continue to have "healthy" skepticsim or we can move forward and find out our own answers.

In the meantime, I am thankful that Dr. Riordan treated the 4 boys for free and I am sure that their families did not mind covering whatever other expenses were incurred while traveling to Costa Rica. Airplane fare and traveling expenses seem like a mute point.

Stem cell treatments are currently being used in this country for many diseases. I see information and stories in the news almost every day. There is alot of information out there, for anyone who is interested in learning. Stem cell therapy is here and now. It is the future of healthcare. This is real hope.
What diseases are being treated with stem cells in the US today?
I know of two trials currently being conducted with adult stem cells: One is on autism at NYU and the other is on spinal cord injuries at Miami U.
Two of the many websites you can find are : lists many diseases curently being treated with stem cells lists 3050 clinical trials underway in this country using stem cells. Type in stem cells in the search box.

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