MORE THAN 760-THOUSAND CHILDREN AND ADULTS ARE LIVING WITH CEREBRAL PALSY.
NOW, FOR THE FIRST TIME, DOCTORS ARE STUDYING A TREATMENT THAT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO STOP THE DISORDER IN ITS TRACKS.
THERE'S NOTHING JENNY AND J-D STEPHENSON WOULDN'T DO FOR THEIR SON WESTON -- THAT INCLUDED BANKING HIS UMBILICAL CORD BLOOD WHEN HE WAS BORN.
"We weren't guaranteed to need it for anything."
BUT THEY WOULD NEED IT. WHEN WESTON WAS 10 MONTHS OLD - DOCTORS DIAGNOSED HIM WITH CEREBRAL PALSY.
"Of course, you want the best for him, and you never want anything to be wrong."
WESTON'S DEVELOPMENTALLY DELAYED AND HAS TROUBLE USING THE LEFT SIDE OF HIS BODY. THERE'S NO CURE FOR HIS C-P, BUT THERE'S HOPE IN HIS CORD BLOOD. AS PART OF A CLINICAL TRIAL AT DUKE UNIVERSITY, WESTON RECEIVES HIS FIRST INFUSION. HE'S NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT, BUT HIS PARENTS ARE THRILLED.
"This was just the most exciting thing we had heard."
"If this is beneficial, it could really change the lives of those children." DOCTOR JOANNE KURTZBERG SAYS THE THEORY IS CORD BLOOD CELLS CAN DECREASE INFLAMMATION, COAX NORMAL CELLS INTO FIXING DAMAGED TISSUES, AND GROW INTO NEW CELLS. "Cord blood cells can graft and grow into some types of brain cells in the brain."
PATIENTS IN A PHASE ONE TRIAL REPORTED IMPROVED SPEECH, MOBILITY AND MOVEMENT. BUT DOCTOR KURTZBERG SAYS THAT STUDY DID NOT COMPARE THE CORD BLOOD TO A PLACEBO. THE NEW STUDY -- THAT WESTON IS A PART OF -- DOES.
NEW HOPE FOR A LITTLE BOY WHOSE PARENTS WANT THE BEST FOR HIM.
"It's why you get up every day and go to work."
"My hope is that we see a miracle, really."
DOCTOR KURTZBERG'S TRIAL IS STILL ENROLLING PATIENTS.
TO BE ELIGIBLE, YOUR CHILD MUST HAVE A C-P DIAGNOSIS, BE BETWEEN ONE AND SIX-YEARS-OLD, AND THEIR CORD BLOOD MUST BE AVAILABLE.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO ENROLL GO TO https://www.dtmi.duke.edu/news-publications/news/dtmi-news-archives/cerebral-palsy-autologous-cord-blood-study
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