As many of you know my dad has struggled with Friedreich's ataxia for many years now. A lot of amazing people donated to our family last year when my dad traveled to Arizona to do a stem cell transplant. However this transplant involved using his own healthy stem cells to try to repair the damaged diseased cells. We knew that this had a low success rate considering the cells still contained his DNA but we wanted to attempt it before considering other (much pricier) options. So here we are faced with another opportunity that yields a 90+% success rate and we just don't want to let this opportunity go when it could very well be what saves my dad's life all because money is an issue. With a combination of our own family coming together to save and with the help of whoever feels compelled to donate to us, we could allow my dad to live much longer than he is expected to at the current rate of the disease's progression. My dad means everything to me and for him to come to me with such a positive outlook and a want to go through with this surgery I can't find any reason why we can't find a way to meet the financial need to accomplish this, even if it takes a little while.
As far as his disease goes for those of you who aren't aware, in short it's a degenerative nerve disability that affects much of my dad's every day life from his speech, to reflexes, motor skills, balance, brain, etc. and it's only progressing more with each day. It's finally reached the point that he is confined to a wheelchair when we go out places and when he does walk needs constant reinforcement from other sources to ensure that he doesn't fall. It's to the point that this isn't how a human being should live and it certainly isn't how the greatest man in my life should live. For more info on Ataxia
As far as this new procedure goes, instead of (as before) using his own stem cells, the doctors will extract NEW healthy embryonic stem cells and inject them into his spinal cord. These new cells have a very high chance of repairing his damaged diseased cells and we've read many success stories of people who suffer from ataxia just like my dad. However, the hospital is located in China and it will take weeks of my dad being there for the entirety of the procedure which has a lot to do with why it's so expensive. For more info on the hospital & procedure
Thank you to everyone who has donated in the past and to everyone who feels compelled to donate to us now considering how substantially pricier this procedure is than the last. We appreciate it more than anyone could ever know regardless of the outcome. We never want it to come to the worst outcome and look back and wish money wasn't what kept us from keeping Randee (my dad) alive. This is our last hope and we are so grateful for everyone who has followed our story this far. Thank you all again!#GoBeyondGiving