Metro Detroit Boy A ‘Living Miracle’ After Stem Cell Treatment For Cerebral Palsy

SHELBY TWP. (WWJ) - Thanks to modern technology and medical breakthrough, a metro Detroit boy with cerebral palsy is experiencing a miracle.

We first met the Kijeks last Januaryand between smiles and laughter, we met Drew. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy shortly after birth,life with Drew hasnt been easy.

If he tried sitting and we let him go for even a split second, he would just tip over because he didnt have any balance, Drews mother Maureen Kijek told WWJs Kathryn Larson.

But now a new door has opened for the Shelby Township boy. Drew was one of the first children in the world to participate in a procedure to treat his cerebral palsy with the use of cord blood stem cells.

He would always get very frustrated, being trapped in a body that doesnt work. And so for me to see him smile and to see the look of contentment on his face and pride when he does something, however small that it might seem to other people, itshuge for him. You know, the fact that hes doing two things at once, hes sitting independently, hes able to use his hands where before he could only really do one little thing at a time, Kijek said.

The 12-year-olds physical therapist Kathleen Lewandowski said she almost cant believe her eyes.

For us, we were thrilled if he held his head up for five seconds, 10 seconds, 30 seconds, if he could track something consistently and for him to sit, I mean, its a miracle. Ive been a therapist for 10 years and that doesnt happen, Lewandowski said.

Kijek, who banked her sons stem cells at birth,saidits nothing short of a miracle.

Its incredible and its all those things that people think Oh, it could never happen, or its science fiction or whatever, but its not. Its just the bodys way of healing itself and getting back to the wholeness that it always wanted to be. And, you know, with the help of the stem cells, which replace the bad cells, Kijek said. I dont see any reason why the FDA wouldnt do this. Its safe, its effective, it works.

Shortly after we metDrew last year, the Kijeks flew to Georgia for the first of two FDA trial visits. Drew was fully awake for the procedure that involved intravenously injecting either his own stem cells or a placebo.

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Metro Detroit Boy A ‘Living Miracle’ After Stem Cell Treatment For Cerebral Palsy

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