Reporting from Kiev Ukraine on the Stem Cell Therapy Process at EmCell
October 24, 2011 12 Comments
This Sunday I spent most of the day with Dr Karpenko, one of originators of the EmCell center and during the morning we both met with the clinicians who would carrying out the treatments on the patients. We reviewed medical histories and considered various stem cell mixtures to assist each patient with their individual needs. The families that came with me on this trip represent a diverse spectrum of challenges for the doctors – ranging from breast cancer (post chemotherapy) to autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, post traumatic injuries, and Lyme disease. The clinicians here have vast experience in treating many disorders. They have treated an estimated 100 children with autism (mostly from Europe and far more than I realized) and I believe they have more experience than any stem cell therapy center in the World. Dr Nouytska is reported to be the first clinician to treat any human disease (type 1 diabetes) with stem cells over 20 years ago. All of her colleagues: including Dr Sych (the neurologist – with an appropriate last name), Dr Hemchuk, Dr Klunnik and the others were incredibly patient with our high need, high demand patients. They were also very willing to learn from our clinical experiences with treating children with autism. The administrative assistant Yuliia (“Eula”) was organized and extremely proficient as a translator. She is also very passionate about stem cell therapies after her many years of work with EmCell and having seen so many benefits for the patients. Dr Karpenko with Joe (more on him to follow) hosted a traditional ethnic dinner with the families last night and Dr Karpenko patiently answered all of the parents very direct questions about stem cell therapies.
But none of this would be happening for these families right now if a big hearted American – Wisconsin born (Joe Maerske) hadn’t picked up the phone to talk to me about EmCell. Joe did his job of lowering my fears about this – at least to me – unknown group of clinicians and researchers. I am so glad he did. He rightly called it: these are warm and talented people who will do all they can to help what can be helped with the tools they have (specialty stem cells).
First let me say that many people have very little knowledge of Kiev, and I will put myself in the category as well. I have traveled all over western Europe, but this was my first trip to the central countries of Europe. So let me settle your curiosities and say Kiev is a modern city with one foot in the past and one in the future. Infrastructure enhancement and new construction is going on everywhere. Despite this, many parts of the city (like many cities) are still in need of significant repairs and modernization.
The only problem I have in Kiev is the same problem I have faced in Thailand and China (the alphabet). The Cyrillic alphabet is just different for me. I know enough Latin, French, German and Spanish to piece together most of my needs in western Europe, but the alphabet precludes me from doing that in Ukraine. However, we are guided through this process by wonderful people who are very skilled in English. The drivers who transport us back and forth are always on time and some speak English but they know exactly where to escort us for treatment and they are always on time. I will let the families give me comments to post (in the next few days) about this trip so you can know how their children with autism managed the long flight, time zones, the city and the treatments. But in summary they are all amazing their parents with how well they are tolerating the travel.
Below is a picture of my wife (Jennifer) taken yesterday from our hotel balcony in the old downtown area of the city. It is lovely and looks like any other modern city in Europe. I would have liked to post pictures about the hospital and the clinic, but I took those on my movie camera and left my cable at home. So I will take my still camera tomorrow and give you more perspectives on the process.
I start off again with the families early in the morning so I will conclude this post by letting you know I had no immediate side-effects from the stem cells transplantation (implanting) I had today for my own loss of cartilage in my knee and my post disc injury nerve damage in my legs. It will be an interesting test of the potency of these cells to see what my own progress is as well as that of the children with autism who are being treated at the same time. More tomorrow if the Kiev Ballet performance of Swan Lake doesn’t take up too much time. I hear it is every bit as good, if not better, than the Bolshoi in Moscow.