Due to some recent events, it looked as if the next stem cell treatment was not going to happen. Then this week, things changed again. I may be scheduled for my next treatment to happen at the end of May — THIS YEAR!!!!!! Most of the money is in place. I think I will only have to come up with travel expenses. My stay in the Dominican Republic should only be 2 days this time. That alone is testimony to the effectiveness of the first treatment 1 year ago. I needed to stay for a couple of weeks just to recover from the trauma of the procedure and traveling.
Since then, I have not had any exacerbations and no need for hospital visits. In January, I recovered from a cold in 3 days without any residual damage, and my lung function has been maintaining at just under the 30% mark. Some breathing functions have improved, as there are times that I can breathe well without any supplemental oxygen for several hours.
We still have to go off shore for the next treatment, as the state is aggressively trying to shut down all adult stem cell procedures. The big drug companies stand to lose over $100,000 of revenue just from my medications if I no longer need those meds. That does not even consider the cost of hospitalizations, doctor visits, and oxygen and other medical equipment. Multiply that times a few million patients, and you can see that big pharma has a lot to lose if adult stem cell procedures become common place.
As I think about all this, I was reflecting on the people who have been a part of this journey. My wife had to quit working to make take care of me and start the fundraising efforts. Then a few of you jumped in and helped the effort go more widespread. Over 400 of you donated a total of $60,000 last year to save my life. I would not have lived past June of 2011 without the treatment. I was looking through the list of names. Some donations were anonymous, so I will never know who you are. I saw names of many new friends in our Rodan + Fields business. Some of you have become friends, but I recognize many of your names from Facebook, but have never met you. So you can see why I consider our business more of a family. Then there are many names that I don’t recognize at all. Aside from the business I see names of many new friends, and I see many names of people I have known since grade school and high school. I don’t think this would been possible without social media.
I am alive today because all of you gave. Many gave financially and many gave through prayers. I know a few of you could not afford to give, but you gave anyway. All the words in every language cannot begin to convey my gratitude for the difference that all of you made.
I now look forward to the upcoming treatment. Currently, it takes me about 3 hours everyday to clear my lungs and do all my therapies, then I can have lunch, and I am ready to take on my business day by about 1pm. Then to end my day, I have another 1 1/2 hours of therapies. The time everyday consumed to maintain my health is annoying, but I am thrilled at my condition compared to a year ago. A year ago, I did not leave the house and had to quit driving. I started driving again in Sept of 2011 and am able to get out several days a week.
I expect that a few weeks after this next treatment, I will not require as many hours of sleep to recover from each day, and will be able to start reducing my therapies. I will gain a few hours a day to be more productive or do whatever I want to, like walking, dancing, and exercising and enjoying my life with my wife.
Again, I thank all of you for being part of my life, and changing what was my last year on earth into the first year of the rest of my life. God Bless YOU!!!!