Ok friends/family..I'm nervous and hesistant to ask BUT it's for my son and I gotta do what's best. (Hoping karma will play a part as well....) We got the invite from Duke University (STILL SCREAMING FROM SHOCK) to take part in an AMAZING stem cell study. (I'll post the link below) The team will use Richie's stem cells from his banked cord blood and infuse them back into his tiny little body in hopes of repairing damaged/low functioning cells in his brain. As most of you know, Richie was diagnosed with Autism last year. This study means so much to us. Due to Richie's autism, we are facing changing to a new school again in the fall. He'll be in kindergarten (again) and it will be his 5th change of schools. I have tried getting him involved in outside activities... Soccer, horse back riding, camp. He is unable to handle it. He's ok for a day, maybe 2 and then the changes, transistions, social cues just completely overwhelm him. He so badly wants to fit in and take part of "normal" activities that his brother does so easily. We, as his parents, obviously want the best for him and want him to be able to attend school with his siblings. But I don't think it will be possible unless we can get these triggers, outbursts and autism markers under control. I've been doing so much research, complete diet change for the last 6 months with the help of a fabulous friend/dietician, visual calendars, constant positive reinforcement and multiple ABA therapies and occupational therapy throughout the week. This study brings so much hope to our family. I really just want to see him be able to fully function without watching him stress about everything around him. He's too little to worry and stress over things we think nothing of. He deserves to relax, have fun, and take it easy like everyone else.
-- **Deatils of the finances:We are scheduled to arrive in NC August 17th and fly home the following friday night. I have been researching tickets and round trip is between $700-$750 per ticket for round trip to NC. (We could possible find a red-eye flight that leaves saturday but then we need our kids to stay with someone else for an extra day) We would have to check in Sunday night and fly back hom Friday afternoon. Hotel is $100 a night at 5 nights and then theres cab fare to and from the hospital. Food is obvious. Duke is giving us $1000 in travel reimbursement. So we still need about $2000 for the remainder.**-- Please, if theres anything you can contribute, we will be forever grateful!!!!! http://dukeforward.duke.edu/news/duke-medicine-awarded-15-million-to-explore-new-treatments-for-autism-other