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.
This is REAL HOPE.