Colin's Stem Cell Journey

We are taking a leap of faith by sharing our story not only to help our awesome 8-year-old son Colin, but also to raise awareness and help educate others about the exciting hope of stem cell therapy. Colin was a perfectly healthy and happy baby and continued to develop right on track until he was two years old. We started to see small warning signs with his behavior such as sensory issues and a decrease in his language which had been typically developing previously. Colin was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at three years old which was crushing and devastating. During the next couple of years, we did a lot of research and tried various biomedical interventions and therapies, some of which were very helpful. We learned that Colin has a gene mutation which is not rare (an estimated 40% or more of the entire population has this mutation). But if we had known this at birth, we would have realized this makes him more susceptible to various toxins like those in our food, vaccines, environment, etc. Being a parent is difficult, period. But being a parent of a special needs child can be especially all consuming, depressing, overwhelming, exhausting, lonely, etc. It is terrifying to worry that your child may not be able to live independently one day and have all the same opportunities as others to live a happy and productive life.

I continued to research and heard about umbilical cord stem cell therapy for helping children with autism. I saw a CNN piece featuring a girl with autism who benefitted greatly by getting a cord blood infusion (link attached below) and learned that Duke University has been conducting clinical trials for this. I also heard that the financial donor for the trials, The Marcus Foundation, resulted after Bernie Marcus, the co-founder of Home Depot, and his wife both received life changing stem cell treatments at The Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama. This facility has been treating children with autism using donor mesenchymal stem cells derived out of umbilical cord tissue from live healthy births for the past 12 years! We watched many testimonies of children having significant improvement after this therapy. After much prayer and more research, last October we took the plunge and Colin received stem cell infusions in Panama. We saw immediate positive changes with Colin and small gains have continued for the past eleven months since then. His gut problems healed immediately and we have continued to see huge gains in receptive learning as well as overall improvement with speech and academics. His ATEC score went from a 50 down to a 25 which shows solid improvement. The down side, however, was the cost. We spent a little more than $20,000 on that treatment which was made possible by us taking out a home equity loan.

We feel very compelled to make another trip to Panama to continue Colin’s healing. Colin has actually been asking to go back as well! How amazing that a child is begging to go back and get infusions! He asks for Dr. Leu often and we believe the stem cells make him feel great and he knows they help him heal. We have already been blessed with a generous family member providing our airfare for a return trip and another unexpected donation from a family I have not even met in person who just wanted to bless those generous gifts bring down the amount we need to $11,000. We are asking for help for our son if you are able and feel donation is too small and every little bit adds up. We know that not everyone is able to give financially, but I do ask that you please pray for Colin and for his healing and continued improvement. Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your love, support and prayers.

Christy & Jon

Links below have more info about Duke University and The Stem Cell Institute in Panama as well as great testimonials:
CNN video from Duke’s clinical trial
This is The Stem Cell Institute’s website and contains many video testimonies, etc.
Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg, Duke University, speaking about stem cell therapy for autism & CP
Great documentary about a child with autism being healed by stem cell therapy, HOWEVER, the statistic given in the beginning is outdated...the CDC now says that about 1 in 59 children has autism spectrum disorder!!!
Another documentary about a child healing from autism with stem cell therapy!
Joe Rogan podcast with Dr. Neil Riordan (The Stem Cell Institute) and Mel Gibson
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Christy Neuman Helquist 
Jacksonville, FL
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