Saturday, May 15, 2010

Less than a month from departure

Yes, I am going to Panama City, Panama for stem cell treatments for my MS. We leave on Saturday, June 5th and return on June 20th. Kathy is going with me.

We were scheduled to go to Costa Rica for these treatments but the ICM clinic switched us to their Panama City clinic. The clinics are run by the same group, have the same procedure, and are practically the same. They simply have two sites, and now we are going to the Panama site. No big deal - just a little further south. The US dollar is the national currency in Panama so that may be even better.

Some people suffering from MS have had good results with their MS treatments here in the US - there are more people than I ever knew who have MS and who are managing well - and for those people I am very happy because it can be a very ugly disease. For me, the current treatments have not had quite the same effectiveness. My symptoms and disabilities are not totally disabling yet, but they continue to go downhill. I am definitely worse than I was 6 months ago. So that is the reason I am going outside the US for treatments.

Adult stem cell treatments are not approved in the US yet (trials are being done in Chicago and in California), and I don't have 5 - 10 years to wait on FDA approval. Going outside the US does not frighten me. I am long past the thought that only US doctors and clinics have the right answers. (Did you know that Lasik eye surgery was being done very effectively and very often abroad before it was ever FDA approved - was it good only when FDA approved it and US doctors started using it?) Now don't get me wrong, I believe US doctors and my doctors are great, but sometimes they are restricted from doing things that may provide much good for their patients. Ten years from now when all of our doctors are using stem cells and singing their praises I hope we remember being at this stage.

So we leave in June with great hope of improving. We know this is NOT a cure, and we know there is NO guarantee of even getting better. But some people have and I am at the stage of "what do I have to lose?" I know how I am progressing with what I am doing, so let's do something different. When you talk to Preston Walker, Richard Humphries, Holley Huber, and many others who have gone and are glad they went, then there is much more hope than what I have staying with what I am doing.

So I am ready for June 5th, and I am SO thankful for all of the wonderful coaches, friends and good people of Ennis who made this trip possible. You are incredible!


  1. We are lifting you up in prayer and so thankful God has given you this opportunity. We love you-BC, Sloan and Jackson

  2. We are praying for you. We are so happy that you have this opportunity! If you need anything please let us know. We love you guys!! Dana & Kris

  3. Sam, we are soooo excited for you and this great opportunity. We will be praying for you and your family through out this whole process. If any of you need anything you know you can call Jake and I.

    Dear Heavenly Father,
    I pray that you hold Sam in your arms and provide him with the strength, both physically and mentally, to endure the hardships to come and make it through each obstacle one day at a time. I pray that you protect his mind from the negative thoughts and emotions of the world that may try to enter his mind, and instead provide him with the faith, hope, love, and patience that is required of us to live out Your Will for our lives. Lord I pray that the doctors will proceed with Godly wisdom and that you guide their hands through each procedure. He is faithful and you, Sam, have been faithful too. I pray that Sam have a safe and speedy recovery. Lord we know that you are more than capeable of completely healing Sam and you tell us to ask; therefore I am asking you now, Master Surgeon, Faithful Healer, that your mighty hand protect him and heal him. Lord I pray that you hold Kathy tightly in your loving arms. Provide her with the love, faith, patience, and security of your majestic ways. Let your faithful, everlasting, and unchanging love be bestowed upon Sam and his precious family. Lord, thank you for all you have done and all the blessings we recieve daily. May it be for your glory and purpose to further His kingdom. It is in your miraculous name I pray. AMEN!!

    We love you so very much!! Jake and Cali