APPLETON, Wisc. (WBAY) As stem cell therapy grows in popularity in Northeast Wisconsin, treatment is expanding beyond chronic pain in the knees, hips, back and shoulders.
A Green Bay man battling lung disease says stem cell therapy saved his life.
Ken Schiller has lived on oxygen for the past 12 years while suffering from COPD, emphysema and Agent Orange.
"Tried to get a lung transplant and they told me well, can't do it, you're too old," says Schiller.
Five years ago, doctors gave Schiller four years to live.
But now he's breathing a sigh of relief.
"I couldn't walk 15-feet nine months ago without stopping to rest for 3-5 minutes, now I can walk through the grocery store, can walk out of this building to the car, I don't have a big problem," says Schiller.
Schiller turned to stem cell therapy at Optimal Stem Cell & Wellness Institute in Appleton.
"Now we've really seen incredible results with lung disease, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, emphysema, these patients have nowhere else to go," says Dr. Michael Johnson who runs the clinic.
Dr. Johnson says patients like Schiller begin with a platelet rich plasma treatment, followed by stem cell treatment using stem cells from their own body fat.
"We draw off the fat, adipose, spin it down, draw off the stem cells and IV it back into them, after one round of stem cell therapy they're already doing better, it usually takes two or three for severe cases," says Dr. Johnson.
Schiller just underwent his third treatment and says he has a new lease on life.
"Two weeks ago we went to Laughlin, Nevada for four days, took a plane and came back, I thought those days were over, but they're not," says Schiller.
While stem cell therapy is still not FDA approved, or covered by insurance, Dr. Johnson says his office is fielding around 100 calls a week.
"This is the future," says Dr. Johnson.
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