Usane Bolt is considered the greatest sprinter of all time. He holds the world record time for both the 100 and 200 metre sprints, and is part of the team that holds the record for the 4 x 100 metre relay. He is a nine- time Olympic Gold Medalist. The Usane Bold victory pose is famous around the world.
He’s probably never been to Israel. He probably never imagined that he might inspire an MS patient to feel like an Olympian; but he did.
As I stood at the tape on the floor, about to complete the timed walking test following my third stem cell infusion at Hadassah Hospital in Israel, I struck the victory pose myself. Feeling the sense of elation, power, and strength of the fastest sprinter ever, I let go of my walker and pointed toward the sky. As an MS patient of 17 years, I had learned never to try to stand without holding on to something. Yet this moment was different. Unsteadiness and weakness in my legs has made me dependent on a walker since before my youngest child started college. She graduated in May. Laughing, crying, and sharing the excitement of everyone watching I was not about to sprint down the hall. I wasn’t even going to walk the 20 yard distance without my walker. But I had just walked the 20 yards to get to the tape holding only onto the arm of my husband. It was the first time in five years that I had walked without the walker. My husband said that I was the Usane Bolt of Multiple Sclerosis. I was! Who knew that Usane Bolt, the Jamaican Olympian, would inspire a woman from Dallas Texas, standing in the hallway of the world-renown Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, having been treated by a Greek doctor, who discovered a treatment that will change the lives of MS and ALS patients from around the world?
I was in Israel this week for the third stem cell infusion performed by Dimitros Karussis of the Hadassah Hospital in Israel.
Dr. Petrou gave me a hug as she documented my improvement within less than 24 hours after the infusion on Wed. On Wednesday as I was waiting outside the office of Dr. Karussis, I met another MS patient, Mark Lewis from London.
He was also sitting in a wheelchair. Like me, he had an equally hard time traversing the long halls of the hospital. It was Mark’s smile that invited our conversation. Mark was not doing the Usane Bolt pose, but he was feeling the same sense of elation that I would feel the following day. This was less than 24 hours after Mark’s first stem cell infusion at the Hadassah hospital.
For the last 15 years Mr. Lewis had been unable to hold his cane in his right hand. His hand was simply too weak to hold the cane, which was only one of his many symptoms of MS. The sparkle in his eyes was blinding as he held up his cane in his right hand. I had not previously met Mark. How could I know that he too was an attorney or that he too had been involved in a struggle to uncover a major scandal? He uncovered a major scandal in England. I uncovered a scandal involving the Secret Service in America. Our common bond was the realization that performing a seemingly mundane task for a patient with MS could be electrifying. Everyone in the hallway was excited for Mark. However nobody else could appreciate the sense of euphoria that comes with performing an ordinary task that had previously been thought to have been lost forever.
All medicines available for the treatment of MS are designed with the hope that they will arrest progression of the disease. Many of the drugs for MS have serious side effects, including death. Nobody has developed a treatment or medication for MS that actually reverses some of the effects of the disease. The stem cell treatment being administered by Dr. Karussis at Hadassah Hospital in Israel has been shown to actually reverse some of the devastating disabilities caused by MS. Even more amazing is his treatment of ALS patients with the same type of stem cell infusion directly into the cerebro-spinal fluid. Dr. Karussis’s stem cell therapy has been shown to extend the life of an ALS patient by two years. More impressive yet is the fact that these amazing results have been replicated by Mass. General, with the same astonishing results.
It was August of 2014 that Mass General began its study replicating the study of Dr. Karussis, utilizing the science of Brain Storm technologies, in growing the patient’s own stem cells. Then in July of 2016 Mass General reported confirmation of Dr. Karussis’s results. Brain Storm technologies and Dr. Karussis have been advancing medical science for twenty years in the field of stem cell therapies.
David Ben-Gurion said:
“Anyone who doesn’t believe in miracles is not a realist.”
Mark Lewis and I are both realists, and we both believe in miracles! A realist knows that scientific breakthroughs like this are the result of years of hard work, dedication, and persistence of some of the brightest physicians and research scientists in the world. The miracle is that both Mark and I had the chance to be treated as part of this incredible study at the Hadassah Hospital!