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David Kannenberg, 54 years, Multiple Sclerosis

Year of birth: 1954

Occupation: Truck driver

Marital status: Married

Disease treated: Multiple Sclerosis

Fourth of July 2001

"I have regained full mobility in my legs below the knee"

We were watching the fireworks on 4th of July 2001 when I first noticed that there was something wrong with me. I was sitting with my legs crossed and when I uncrossed them again, I felt numbness in my thigh that did not go away and progressed into the knee over the next couple of weeks. I lost feeling in both of my legs, you could stick a needle in my leg, I would not have felt it. Since the problems worsened, my wife and I contacted our physician in August of 2001, but he wasn't able to make a conclusive diagnosis. It was only when I went back to my ophthalmologist for a check up and mentioned my current problem that he reminded me of an eye problem I'd reported in March of the same year. Then I had a sort of blurry eye, it was like I was looking underwater and I couldn't properly focus. He combined the two and sent me to a neurologist to check specifically for MS. The neurologist requested an MRI, which showed no lesions, he checked my reflexes and did a spinal test that finally confirmed the MS. At this point my legs got so tight it was unbearable. I was first put on steroids, later on betasteron and stayed on this medication for 7 years. Thankfully my condition seemed nonprogressive, I was on my meds and returned each year for a check-up.

In early 2008 I started to loose my balance every so often, I had to catch myself, but never fell. I drive a truck and it got difficult sometimes to climb up into the cab. Over the years my wife Janet had been doing research about new medical treatments for MS and came up with the idea to try adult stem cells to hopefully improve my condition.

Stem cell treatment

Our trip in the first week of September of 2008 was excellent. As foreigners we were made to feel very welcome by the staff. I had expected the extraction of the bone marrow to be painful, but it was okay. The stem cells were separated from my bone marrow and were re-injected two days later directly into my spinal fluid by lumbar puncture. After the lumbar puncture I noticed a small headache and relaxed in my hotel room for a few hours. The next day I felt well enough that we went to do site seeing and had a great time.

Results

Two and a half weeks after the transplantation I noticed a slight shooting pain in my foot that later disappeared. Over the next weeks the sensation and mobility started to return slowly (I had not had normal feeling in my feet and legs for 7 years). It has now been nearly 8 weeks, I can feel my muscles move and slight pain from time to time. It seems to me that the pain I experience indicates a change and improvement. I have regained full mobility in my legs below the knee. My legs feel much lighter and the remaining tightness is very minor. I have a range of movement in my ankles again. I can feel the grass beneath my feet. What a good feeling after 7 years! My mother is so happy about my improvement, she cries when she calls to check on my weekly progress.

I get a lot of questions from everybody I talk to about adult stem cell therapy. How long will it last? Will it continue to heal? Will it heal other areas not associated with MS? I certainly don't know, but the improvement I've had so far has been great. It is really hard not to get depressed with MS, but my attitude recently has changed. I've always tried to stay positive, but my wife has started to notice changes. Everyday I wake up feeling great, I am much more talkative and have much more energy. I was never classified as a progressive case and had no lesions in my brain. I am really glad I caught the MS at the point I have. Having made so much progress, I tend to get a bit impatient. As things progress for me, I am expecting a 100% recovery.

My conclusion

Our trip in the first week of September of 2008 was excellent. As foreigners we were made to feel very welcome by the staff. I had expected the extraction of the bone marrow to be painful, but it was okay. The stem cells were separated from my bone marrow and were re-injected two days later directly into my spinal fluid by lumbar puncture. After the lumbar puncture I noticed a small headache and relaxed in my hotel room for a few hours. The next day I felt well enough that we went to do site seeing and had a great time.

My hope is that the more patients are treated abroad the quicker the studies in the US will progress. My neurologist at home does not expect that the type of procedure I had done for my MS will be done in the US in the next 5-7years. I'll certainly spread the word as much as I can.

Second Treatment and Progress Update

Note - After approximately one year, Mr. Kannenberg's symptoms began returning and his condition returned to approximately the way it was just prior to his first treatment. He returned for a second treatment druing the first week of February, 2010. Below is a progress report emailed to us about 3 months later by Mr. Kannenberg's wife, Janet.

From: Janet Kannenberg [mailto:edited for privacy]

Sent: Friday, May 07, 2010 10:46 AM

Subject: RE: Update on Dave

Sorry for the delay of our response. I have been taking care of Dave. He's been ill for almost two weeks. Thought he had a kidney stone but the stubborn fool won't go to the doctor!!!. Says he feels better so why should he go?

He is starting to feel small changes. His balance is back to 80 %. Still needs the cane on occasion. Legs feel a little lighter. His hair has gotten curly on top of his head (two yr ago he had none) He is not feeling the nerve pain as last time (called the good pain) He says it's too soon. I was hoping that because he had it done before that it would work quicker this time. I guess that's not the way it works.

His spatial memory has improved. I don't see him blank out to often. He is still occasionally forgetful. I will tell him something and later he will ask me what I already told him.

His sense of humor is coming back, which I missed soooo much. He smiles more.

Dave and I are so appreciative of all the staff for this last trip.*

Thank you so much

David Kannenberg


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