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Help Mateja walk again

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Mateja is a young man at the very beginning of his life journey: he recently finished college, moved out on his own, started his career, and even met the love of his life. On the first day of his vacation last August, however, Mateja was swept away by strong waves at the beach and suffered a severe spinal injury. He was completely paralyzed from the neck down and had to undergo urgent surgery to remove one of his vertebrae. Since then, he has been fighting to recover his mobility through physical therapy.

With his dedication and wonderful, sunny attitude, Mateja has been able to regain use of his arms (and is currently working on being able to move his fingers—his latest goal is to be able to change the TV channel by himself!). Despite his best efforts, though, regaining use of his lower body (and improving and easing the use of his upper body) will require more sophisticated medical intervention. His best hope right now is advanced stem cell treatment in Germany , which he would need to start as soon as next month to reap the greatest impact. If you are able, please help up make turn this treatment from a faraway dream into a possibility for him. 

Though our family doesn't have the financial resources of providing him with all the therapy he needs, we are dedicated to banding together to support him in every way we can, and we're asking you for a little help. We are his parents, sister, godparents, and friends; and his smile, optimism, and humor are the great light of our lives.  Every day we are blown away by his total dedication and positivity—through the good times and the bad—and we are moving mountains every day to help him walk again. Please help him and his family remain hopeful and keep up the good fight in these terrible and tumultuous times. Any positive wishes or contributions will make Mateja's life immeasurably easier, and all support will go directly to his medical bills, travel expenses, and stem cell treatments.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Breakdown of costs from the clinic:

All in all, 20 doses of the treatment will come out to €69,000 ($78,000) plus the HAL treatment totaling €30,000 ($34,000), not including travel expenses.  Please see below for a breakdown of expenses from the clinic.  

The price for treatment with mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) secretome begins at 19.500 Euros, including diagnostic work-up (laboratory, imaging), stem cell harvesting by liposuction, processing, and expansion of the stem cells in the laboratory (4 weeks), secretome production, and storage and the first course of three treatments. 

Patients can then purchase up to 7 more single-dose treatments with MSC secretome for maintenance within 2 years from the production date; these cost 2.150 Euros each. In total, this adds up to 34.500 Euros. As the regeneration takes place very slowly, the 3 month HAL program should be paralleled by regular secretome infusions: we recommend a boost of 3 injections before HAL or after the first week, then a single dose one week later and then at two-week intervals. If desired, we can produce 20 doses of secretome from one harvesting, but this will almost double the cost.

HAL is a 3-month training program that takes place at Cyberdyne in Bochum, Germany. Daily sessions during weekdays cost approx. 500 Eurosper session. HAL robotics training lasts 3 months with 5 sessions per week which adds up to about 30.000 Euros for the entire length of the treatment. 


Vanja Dragutinovic
Riverdale, NJ

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