Disabled Veteran's Stem Cell Campaign


Hi everyone!

My name is Ken Campbell. I'm 43 and a native Texan, currently living in Dallas/Fort Worth.

This will probably be a long read for you, so sit back, relax with a fresh cup of coffee or your beverage of choice, and come with me on my journey.

Five years ago, I was active, fit, an avid skier, a pilot, a guitar player, an engineer, and in a fantastic relationship with a fantastic gal. Well,...you know life. It has a way of throwing you a serious curve every now and then.

Now...as a U.S. Army Veteran, I have seen, faced, and overcome many challenges in my life. But this one I'm dealing with now...it is probably my biggest yet.

In the Army, my primary duty was a Flight Operations Sergeant for 57th Medical Evacuation Company (deactivated in 2007), at Fort Bragg, NC. We were in the business of saving lives and I would not be the man I am today without the experiences I had while serving my country. Serving in a unit that operated in a constant, real world mission of saving soldiers lives had a lasting impact on me. I lost friends along the way and it always hammers home just how precious this life we live really is.

Ten years after my service I began to have strange neurological problems and over the next two years, things began to worsen. Seeking the guidance of a neurologist I was given an MRI of the neck and brain. The diagnosis...Multiple Sclerosis.

Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune illness that creates inflammation In the brain, spine, and nerves. This inflamation destroys the myelin sheathing that insulates the nerves. This insulation can be looked at like the insulation of a wire in a computer network. If the insulation is damaged or stripped, the wire will encounter attenuation problems, crosstalk, or failing to pass a signal altogether. This results in a network that might not work very well.MS causes a person's nerves to be damaged over time, resulting in a host of various and debilitating conditions.

Challenges and change always occur in a person's life. It jars something deep inside and allows us to grow. I have never been one to shrink from a challenge and I have always poured my heart and soul into everything I've done. But there are times when things really get hard and you have to roll with the punches.

In the Army, this was characterized by the phrase, 'Man, I LOVE how much this sucks!"

In the movie "Captain America", When Steve Rodgers is being beaten up and keeps getting up he says, "I can do this all day."

And another of my favorite movie quotes: "Just remember what ol' Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, and the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big ol' storm right square in the eye and he says, "Give me your best shot, pal. I can take it."

I can take it.

I say these things so you know where I'm coming from and what kind of man I really am.

Everyone's MS is different. My issues are currently contained to my legs and middle back, leaving me reliant on a power chair for mobility. Right now, with full time Physical Therapy, I am maintaining, but my progression to this point has been pretty rapid and the prognosis is not very good in the long run.

As far as treatments in the U.S., very little is promising as far as slowing the progression of the illness and there is NOTHING in the U.S. to actually heal the damage done. I have been on several FDA approved therapies for MS (Copaxone and others) but nothing has truly helped and I have continued to decline over the last three years. It has taken its toll. Financially, physically, and it destroyed my last relationship.....so there is emotional wreckage too.

But.....as I said, I'm a fighter, and for me and this illness, it has meant that I am, have been, and always will be my own best advocate. Tons of research has made me really smart on MS, Lyme Disease and other neurological illnesses. I have been dealing with doctors and insurance companies for the last 5 years and have had to fight the system, tooth and nail, to get the things I need to continue to be independent and productive. Anyone that has been in the system knows that the deck is often stacked against us, especially for Veterans. Insurance companies will happily take your money and then deny coverage for the silliest reasons. It is a system geared around generating profits instead of being based on actual health.

I have found that doctors don't know everything and it has fallen to me to do the research and get educated on everything I'm dealing with, including things that aren't well advertized here in the U.S.

Enter Adult Stem Cell Therapy. The procedure begins with taking your own fat tissue (i.e. Liposuction) and spinning the mesenchymal stem cells from it and then re-infusing them back into the patient. The cells have a non-specific natural effect of repairing and regenerating damaged tissue.

Here are some testimonials of patients, right here in DFW, that sought out treatment from the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama:
http://www.cellmedicine.com/stem-cell-therapy/patient-stories/multiple-sclerosis-patient-stories/

When I first learned of this (Thanks Shalene!) I thought "This is HUGE!" But....unfortunately extremely controversial here in the U.S. and blocked by the FDA, forcing clinics to move their practices and clinics off-shore. Drastically raising costs for travel, lodging, and treatment.

Here is an article and audio interview on NPR describing the current state of getting this treatment in the states:
http://www.npr.org/2013/02/02/170942324/fda-challenges-stem-cell-companies-as-patients-run-out-of-time

This brings me to my goal. I am hoping to raise funds to support my own journey to get access to this therapy. Fortunately I am so blessed to come from a family that cares, neighbors that are there for me, and friends that would do anything to help (Thanks Carol!!).

I'm not looking for a free ride and have already put forward substantial capital to make this trip happen. But I wanted to reach out to whomever might read this page and say that any contribution would be most welcome, and will help me defer some of the costs that I am going to incur in this journey back to health.


I would also like to add that supporting me also supports further research and case studies to forward Adult Stem Cell therapy as a whole. Perhaps one day, the evidence will outweigh the greed and this treatment will finally be allowed here at home.


If life has taught me anything it is that when people join together for a common purpose.....ANYTHING is possible.


Thanks for helping a downed soldier walk again.


http://www.cellmedicine.com/stem-cell-therapy/patient-stories/multiple-sclerosis-patient-stories/&h=7AQEPgQ-j&s=1" data-ft="{" type":10,"tn":"h"}"="" tabindex="-1" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">https://fbexternal-a.akamaihd.net/safe_image.php?d=AQDYwSVqYL2f7w5a&w=154&h=154&url=http://www.cellmedicine.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/MS-Stem-Cell-Patient-Preston-Walker.jpg&cfs=1);">Multiple Sclerosis
www.cellmedicine.comI grew up no stranger to Multiple Sclerosis as my father was diagnosed in 1970 at the age of 30 "“ I was in the 5th grade.

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Organizer

Ken Campbell 
Organizer
Fort Worth, TX
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