I have advanced osteoarthritis. I have it in all of my joints to varying degrees of severity. As the song goes, "Head, shoulders, knees, and toes. . .", but add all the other body parts too. Anyway, I have been dealing with this for about 4 or 5 years, but it has gotten really bad this last year. I have tried different supplements, diets, PRP and Prolotherapy as well. Nothing has worked. I believe that is in large part due to my age and the advanced state of the arthritis.
However, I recently found a treatment involving a specific type of stem cell: MSC or mesenchymal stem cells. The treatment holds great promise and works systemwide instead of only in a localized area such as with PRP, Prolotherapy or a joint replacement like my left shoulder would require. Unfortunately, the cost is not cheap, for me at least, and can range from $10k-$30k. Comparatively, a shoulder replacement averages around $11k, but can go up to $27k, and that will only fix one of my joints plus requires a major surgery, months of recovery and rehabilitation. There is no surgery involved in the stem cell therapy, only injections and IV's. Given the extensiveness of my arthritis I am looking at the higher end of the cost spectrum as I will additionally require localized injections to treat the more severely damaged areas. I will also have to go out of the country to get this treatment as the FDA has not yet approved it for use outside of clinical trials.
Here is what I am dealing with: My left shoulder has little to no cartilage and I can feel the bones grinding on each other when I move my arm, especially when I push or hold my arms horizontal like when spotting handstands. Right shoulder also but to a lesser extent. In fact, both shoulders are in a constant state of varying discomfort. I even wake up in the night from it. The left hip joint is starting to give me trouble. My knees hurt even when just walking. The joints of my hands, feet, and knees crack and pop every time I move if I have been still for even a short time. My cervical spine is always crunchy and often in pain. Chiropractic sessions only help temporarily. I can feel the bones of my lumbar spine knocking into each other when I twist. Recently, I have been finding it painful to use my hands when I need to employ a strong grip.
Obviously, my job at Circus Center and in woodworking require me to be able to freely use my body. So, clearly if I do not get treatment soon then I will be unable to work.
Thus, I humbly ask for any help you have to offer: financial, other solutions, gluten-free fuji apple, raw unsalted cashews, or well wishes. I'll take the lot! There is also an extremely small chance that I may intend to pay every donation back: kidney, cash, or trade. You decide. You want an artisanal, biodynamic, wild-harvested, gluten and dairy-free, nut and soy-free hand-carved wood spoon, fork, or small bowl? I can make for you. Need a handyman? I'm your guy. Or perhaps are you more of a Tesla type? So easy, I get for you!
Gotta go now. Beye!
- Rowan Cassius
- Hilary Heuer
- Kris Lang
- Lucia Cheung
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