GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mi. (WPBN/WGTU) — Karin Boyd is a 46-year-old Traverse City woman who has been battling multiple sclerosis for about 11 years.
“It’s where your own immune system attacks itself,” said Boyd.
She says she’s tried taking multiple medications to ease her symptoms but she recently discovered another treatment, and now she wants to share her success with others.
She was first diagnosed in 2005.
“I was missing a out on a lot,” Boyd said. “I was tired all the time, I couldn’t get through the day, I would have to go home and take a nap. I wasn’t getting the cooking and cleaning done like I felt like I should.” Denver stem cell therapy could have been an option.
She says she constantly had numbness in her hands and feet.
Despite multiple medications, she even started to lose the ability to use her right leg in 2010.
“I couldn’t walk. I had to have a walker or wheelchair or cane to walk,” Boyd said.
Thankfully a more aggressive drug brought her independent walking back, but not without other consequences.
“The drugs don’t make you feel good,” said Boyd.
That’s when she discovered StemGenex, a procedure based on using the healing benefits of a patient’s own cells.
Boyd flew out to California in September for the three-day procedure.
“The patient undergoes a simple mini liposuction to obtain the patient’s own fat cells,” said Dr. Steven Brody, M.D., P.h.D., Chief Scientific Officer of StemGenex. “It’s processed in the lab to obtain both the stem cells and a cellular fraction separated from the fat. It’s infused back into the patient, and some other parts of the patient’s body which might be impacted are also injected with this collection of cells containing the stem cells.”
The procedure wasn’t cheap though, costing $20,000. Boyd said it’s not covered by insurance.
But because of the way it has already changed her life, she says it’s really priceless.
“I go to work, I come home, like I said I’m cooking, I’m cleaning,” Boyd said. “Realizing how much I’ve deprived everything because I haven’t had the energy.”
“My husband said to me the other day, ‘I feel like I have my best friend back again,’ and hearing that was pretty cool.”
Boyd says she’s even able to feel her fingertips again.
Given the chance, she says she’d do it all over, and that she recommends others try it too.
“If you can get just part of your life back, it’s so worth the journey,” said Boyd. “It makes everything worthwhile.”
More than half of the patients that undergo the procedure with StemGenex are battling M.S., according to Dr. Brody.
Dr. Brody says they also treat a lot of people with Parkinson’s Disease as well as two different types of arthritis and lung disease.
A fundraising page has also been set up to help Boyd offset some of the costs from her procedure.