1/06/2011

The story about an 11-year-old black boy Keone Penn...

It is unfortunate to see how the remarkable advances that are being made with adult stem-cell sources are not being systematically reported by the popular media. Rather there is a clear and at times intentional skewing of the message so that embryonic stem cells are being trumpeted and praised at every turn. Thousands of humans have already been cured of many different types of ailments using adult type stem cells. Today I want to present one amazing story about an 11-year-old black boy named Keone Penn who was born with sickle cell anemia.

"Born with severe sickle cell anemia (a disease that afflicts more than 70,000 Americans and a disproportionate number of African- Americans), Keone Penn suffered a stroke at age five and endured frequent episodes of pain throughout his childhood. He received regular blood transfusions through a chest catheter for his anemia, to reduce the sickling of his red blood cells and control his pain. But Keone continued to have pain crises, bone and joint crises and developed kidney complications.

Keone's doctors began considering a stem cell transplant as a last resort. Keone's sister, a possible bone marrow donor, failed to match and no unrelated bone marrow donor match was found. Keone's doctor, Andrew Yaeger (now at the University of Pittsburgh), decided to try transplantation with cord blood from an unrelated donor, the first time this had been tried for sickle cell disease.

At Egleston Children's Hospital (now the AFLAC Cancer Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta), Keone underwent nine days of chemotherapy to eliminate his own defective bone marrow cells. On December 11, 1998, Keone's doctor transplanted Keone with a matching cord blood unit that had been previously donated to the New York Blood Center's National Cord Blood Program. His recovery was long and, at times, extremely difficult. He was readmitted to the hospital several times, and nine months after the transplant he developed graft vs. host disease (GvHD) as his newly transplanted cells began to attack his own body.

Eventually, these complications subsided. Keone's new stem cells now produce normal red blood cells with normal hemoglobin. The swelling in his joints has subsided and Keone has not had any further pain crisis. On the one-year anniversary of his transplant, Keone's doctor pronounced him cured. Keone will be celebrating his eight year post-transplant anniversary in December, 2006. He graduated from high school in 2004 and plans to train as a chef in culinary school."
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More at: http://www.nationalcordbloodprogram.org/patients/patient_keone.html. Reprinted with permission, Jan. 4, 2011. See also:http://www.lifemarriagefamily.org.au/resource/Catholics%20and%20Stem%20Cell%20research%20and%20therapy.pdf; http://www.cbhd.org/category/issues/stem-cell-research; http://www.stemcellresearch.org/

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