Family hangs hope on stem cells

Indian clinic's stem cell therapy real?


For more of CNN correspondent Drew Griffin's investigation of India's experimental embryonic stem cell therapy, watch "CNN Presents: Selling a Miracle," at 8 and 11 p.m. ET Sunday on CNN.

New Delhi (CNN) -- Cash Burnaman, a 6-year-old South Carolina boy, has traveled with his parents to India seeking treatment for a rare genetic condition that has left him developmentally disabled. You might think this was a hopeful mission until you learn that an overwhelming number of medical experts insist the treatment will have zero effect.

Cash is mute. He walks with the aid of braces. To battle his incurable condition, which is so rare it doesn't have a name, Cash has had to take an artificial growth hormone for most of his life.

His divorced parents, Josh Burnaman and Stephanie Krolick, are so driven by their hope and desperation to help Cash they've journeyed to the other side of the globe and paid tens of thousands of dollars to have Cash undergo experimental injections of human embryonic stem cells.

The family is among a growing number of Americans seeking the treatment in India -- some at a clinic in the heart of New Delhi called NuTech Mediworld run by Dr. Geeta Shroff, a retired obstetrician and self-taught embryonic stem cell practitioner.

Shroff first treated Cash -- who presents symptoms similar to Down Syndrome -- in 2010. "I am helping improve their quality of life," Shroff told CNN.

After five weeks of treatment, Cash and his parents returned home to the U.S.

That's when Cash began walking with the aid of braces for the first time.

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Family hangs hope on stem cells

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