Stem Cell Transplant as a Treatment for Crohn’s

 
 

Update

August 20 2011


It’s been a year and half since my last update (over 3 years since my transplant) and wanted to let everyone know I am still doing fantastic! In fact I am still doing better than ever. I am finally almost off of prednisone after weening down 1mg every month for over a year. I recently went away on vacation and, for the first time I can remember, was actually able to enjoy myself instead of worried were the closest washroom would be.


Thank you for all the wonderful support and I encourage everyone to do their homework so they too can learn the benefits of the life changing procedure.


Update

November 21 2009


It’s been long enough and I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking how I’m doing so I figured it would be a good time to update this site.  It’s been about a year and half since my transplant now. I’m not completely symptom free yet but I’m still improving slowly. I’m off all medications except a low dose of prednisone that I’m slowly weening off. My last colonoscopy last February showed significantly reduced inflammation and I’m expecting more improvement at my next colonoscopy this upcoming February.


I’d like to urge everyone to talk to your doctors and community about Stem Cell Transplants to treat Crohn’s Disease. The transplant has been life changing for me and others deserve to have the same opportunity I did.


Thanks everyone for your continued support!


Update

May 9 2009


Please Pledge me in the CCFC Heel ‘n’ Wheel-a-thon. All money raised goes to the CCFC and helps find a cure for Crohn’s and Colitis. Help me reach my goal of $3000!

It has now been over a year since my transplant and I’m continuing to improve everyday. I feel like I have my life back and I’m not being held back by Crohn’s Disease anymore. I’ve started playing sports again which I haven’t been able to do for the past 5 years and enjoying every minute of it. I have a new lease on life and couldn’t be happier!



Right now, your donation to the Ottawa Hospital Foundation Stem Cell Research will be matched 3 to 1 by the federal government!!! If you donate $100 they will receive $400 so please be generous with your donations!!! Please click on Donations for more information.



MY EXPERIENCE WITH STEM CELL TRANSPLANT  AS A TREATMENT FOR CROHN’S DISEASE


September 1 2008


In February, 2008 I became the first person in Canada to have an Autologous Hematopoietic stem cell transplant specifically for the treatment of Crohn's disease.  I've created this page to share my experience with others who are interested in the treatment, as well as to create awareness of the procedure, and encourage funding for further research in this field.


I had been a Crohn’s sufferer for approximately 13 years. I will not list them here, but I have tried every available pharmaceutical remedy. Nothing worked for me. The Gastroenterologists had run out of options and I was scheduled for radical surgery (ileostomy) in the fall of 2007.


I found information regarding Crohn’s and stem cell transplants on the internet, and did a lot of research. I found a number of locations in the US where stem cell transplants for Crohn’s were being performed on a trial basis. As I was living in Ottawa at the time, I contacted the Bone Marrow Transplant department at the Ottawa General Hospital where they had been performing stem cell transplants for other auto immune diseases such as MS and Leukemia.  I met Dr. Harry Atkins who took an interest in my case, researched it further and agreed to perform the stem cell transplant on me.


I underwent some testing to determine if I was a suitable candidate.  Specifically, a colonoscopy was performed to determine if there was extensive scarring in my intestine such that the procedure may not be effective. I was fortunate that I had limited scarring.


It’s now been 7 months since my transplant and I’m feeling fantastic and still feeling better and better all the time.  I have a new lease on life and enjoying all the activities that were so difficult to do before.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have regarding my transplant but please note, I am not a Doctor and can not provide medical advice.


If you think a Stem Cell transplant may be the right treatment for you, have your doctor give you a referral to see Dr Atkins or another Doctor doing research in the area.

Photo (left) of me during the transplant procedure when I started to lose my hair and a photo (right) of me enjoying my new lease on life just 6 months after my transplant.