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The Walk To Freedom

This is the moment four-year-old Reece Wilks dreamed of. His mother Jan arrived to walk him home from school for the first time since pioneering treatment meant she could leave her wheelchair at home.

The mother-of-two, Jan Wilks was once crippled by multiple sclerosis. Thanks to a revolutionary stem cell treatment she is now able to walk Reece to his classroom door. This summer Mrs Wilks, of Stockbridge Lane, Page Moss, had a controversial medical procedure in a private clinic in a desperate attempt to keep her MS at bay. Within hours she was on her feet and free from pain. Three months on, Mrs Wilks's health is going from strength to strength and she can do the school trip to Beechwood Primary School with Reece unaided.

The benefits
Of the treatment Mrs Wilks, 45, said: "I am feeling great. Everything about my health seems to have improved so much. It is the small things that mean so much to me - the little victories. My legs aren't perfect but I can stand for longer and hang out my own washing on the line. I am not in pain, I feel stronger and I am not sleeping all the time. I can play games with the children. I have more patience and energy. Sometimes I catch myself walking upstairs and can't believe the treatment has worked so well. The kids are made up with me. I feel normal again. I am back at work and everyone says how well I look because all the pain in my face has gone." One of the highlights of the summer was a family holiday in Cornwall where Mrs Wilks was able to build sandcastles with her sons Reece and Daniel, 12, sit on the beach and go out for the evening with husband Paul.

Treating Multiple Sclerosis
When Jan Wilks was diagnosed with MS in 2000, her condition had no treatment or cure and doctors said it would eventually cripple and then kill her. Her husband, Paul Wilks, 40, spent hours on the internet searching for alternative treatments and discovered stem cell therapy was being used elsewhere in the world to help slow the progress of diseases such as Parkinson's, cancer and MS. But the expensive procedure was unfortunately not yet available in the UK.

The Wilks family were preparing to sell their home to pay for treatment in Holland when colleagues at the Asda store in Huyton stepped in to help, raising more than £13,000.

Stem Cells - A Controversial Therapy
Stem cells are the building blocks for every tissue and organ in the body. They have the ability to grow outside the body and can be transplanted to produce tissue regrowth in patients with tissue degenerating diseases.

The cells can be taken from a variety of sources, including unborn foetuses - but this makes stem cell therapy controversial because it raises medical ethics issues. Stem cells used to treat Jan came from umbilical cords which would have otherwise been destroyed. Her treatment - which took just a few hours - saw cells put into her body via a drip, and an injection into the spine to repair damage.

This treatment has increased the quality of Janís life dramatically, not only is she able to walk unaided but has gone back to work and has been able to spend more quality time with her family thereby increasing the quality of their lives as well.

Submitted by:

Sarah Manners

Advanced Cell Therapeutics Ltd.(ACT)http://www.stem-cells.com is a biotech company specializing in providing safe, easy and ethical access to the latest in Stem Cell Therapies. Based in Zurich, ACTs mission is to provide access to safe and ethical treatments which target the causes as well as the symptoms of degenerative disease and aging.




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