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OFF TO GERMANY — FOR STEM CELL

BY JESS G. DUREZA

I will be out of the country for two weeks — to revisit VILLA MEDICA in Germany for my wife Beth’s continuing bout with her bad, but improving, kidney conditions.

As I have done in the past, I will continue to chronicle Beth’s health conditions when we decided last year to try the Fresh Stem cell Therapy (FCT) at the Villa Medica Regenerative Clinic in Edenkoben, about 1 and 1/2 hours from downtown Frankfurt. She had since agreed to make public and share her FCT experience due to its pioneering and innovative application and hoping our friends and the curious public can also benefit from it.

NEW IN PHIL. –As we know, stem cell therapy is still new in the Philippines. In fact, our Philippine health authorities allow only autologous stem cell treatment, meaning cells extracted from the person himself, usually from his own bone marrow, given a spin in the laboratory and re-infused. Due to the proliferation and overnight sprouting of so-called stem cell clinics in the country, the Department of Health recently issued Administrative Order No. 0012 requiring these Philippine clinics to first get permits and comply with certain conditions before they are allowed to operate as such. This is a welcome development considering that our Philippine experience in this field of cellular therapy is still at its infancy. Or under experimentation.

IN GERMANY — Unlike the more recent Philippine clinics, VILLA MEDICA, which pioneers in regenerative medicine, has been operating for about 50 years. This technology was discovered as early as in 1931. The clinic is duly licensed, approved and accredited by the German government health authorities using fresh stem cells from the fetus of a special breed of sheep, bred and grown also under strict health regulations by German authorities. Over the years, about 100,000 clients worldwide have availed of the services of this regenerative clinic. Villa Medica has now a standing policy that clients must get their treatment at its facilities in Edenkoben and not elsewhere. The main reason for this is that fresh cells gathered from the young fetus, for optimum effect, must be injected on the recipient within two (2) hours from harvesting.

DIFFERENCES — There are a few differences in the Philippine practice. For instance, in a Manila medical center that maintains a regenerative division, cells taken from the bone marrow of the client are re-introduced for a period of about 6 months. In Villa Medica, the whole treatment period covers only 4 days with the actual injections done only in about two (2) minutes. The rest of the period is just for total rest and observation. And significantly, the cost in that Manila medical center for autologous treatment is more than double that of Villa Medica. Of course, we know of cheaper ones being marketed around with the sudden mushrooming of “stem cell clinics” of late but we have no way of knowing yet of their efficacy and safety. The Philippine department of health recent administrative order 0012 is supposed to rationalize and regulate this sudden surge for the protection of the public.

It is a fact that today; this unorthodox medicine is still viewed with quizzical eyes and raised eyebrows mostly by medical practitioners or doctors. But this can be a quantum leap into the future for mankind.

KIDNEY TREATMENT — In the case of Beth, about 10 months after her first injections of fresh cells in November last year, her kidneys’ gradual deterioration stopped and even showed some improvement. For instance, her shrunk kidneys registered a filtration rate (GFR) of “19” before FCT. Ten months after, her GFR rose to “26” and her creatinine level (standard of measure for kidneys’ conditions) has remained below 200. But that is still precarious. That’s the reason why we have decided to go again hoping further stem cell injections will all the more stabilize her ailing kidneys. But her migraine since childhood just totally disappeared after FCT. It was due to her migraine and her frequent use of painkillers that her kidneys shrunk and got damaged over the years. Her neck pains and cartilage problems however still persist, although lessened. But definitely, there’s considerable improvement in her overall well-being.

MY OWN FCT –Unknown to many, I had my own FCT injections also last year but I did not chronicle it publicly because I had no serious health condition, except for my right aging knee that lacked fluid causing some discomforts after a round of golf or some vigorous physical activity. I had also a slightly elevated sugar level that can graduate to diabetes if not attended to.

The only reason why I decided to get FCT last year was to give Beth a confidence boost. You see, as the time to depart for Germany last November neared, Beth was showing restlessness and nervousness. For obvious reasons because this was her first time to try it and there were not too many around who could attest to its safety and efficacy. At first, I declined her suggestion that I should also try it. Not because I had my doubts (since I researched far and wide before our decision for her) but mainly because of the costs. But then she said: “I know why you do not want to try it. You want to play safe. So if anything bad happens, I will be the only one in trouble” (or words to that effect.) That did it! Of course, as always, we husbands have always the last say in our households. So I said: “Yes, mom.” So there. (LOL.)

IMPROVEMENT — But looking back, it was worth the effort. And the cost. After 10 months, my blood profile dramatically improved as shown by my tests and my knee never bothers me again. A resonance scan of my vital organs with “before and after” comparisons showed dramatic improvements. And my blood sugar has stabilized. I still have a maintenance dose but it drastically reduced from last year’s daily dose of 1000 mg of Metformin (“Glucophage”) to now a low of 5 mg (“Trajenta”) daily. I now feel energized and reinvigorated. Yes of course, I feel younger. (And that means a mouthful, gentlemen!)

GOING BACK TO GERMANY — Now, Beth and I are going back but more confident this time. And without those apprehensions of the first trip. In fact, some close friends who have seen Beth’s experience are going with us for their own experience. Another family friend in Davao who was suffering from the onset of Parkinson’s disease and who also had FCT months ago after we encouraged him to try it, is also planning to return to Germany next month for his second take, like Beth. In his case, the effect was also dramatic. After a few months from Germany, his initial “tremors” due to Parkinson’s disease disappeared, he threw away his cane and he is moving now normally. There had been positive testimonials on autistic children’s improvement. People like Former President Estrada, Former First Lady Imelda Marcos, Ricky Reyes, Pilita Corrales among others, went to Villa Medica for well-being and rejuvenation. The fresh stem cells somehow repair aging or sick cells or strengthen one’s immune system. Others simply do it for its cosmetic and aesthetic value. It reverses aging.

VM REPRESENTATIVE — Our group this trip includes our daughter KRISTEL who just assumed as Villa Medica’s Philippine business partner/representative to assist those who have decided to go to the Edenkoben facility, especially those who were encouraged by our own experience. She has to see the procedures and the facilities and understand the treatment so she can assist better. We are eight in our traveling group this time, with Dabawenyos who wish to try FCT for healing, regeneration, anti-ageing or just plain well-being. And just like last November last year, I will chronicle the events of this trip. Until then.

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