Friday, November 16, 2012

2012 Final Update

As 2012 comes to an end, I thought I would post an update. As many of you know, I am coaching again - something I thought I would never do again since retiring from coaching in 2010 - I am amazed how much I have improved - sometimes you forget how far down you were down because you simply get used to being that way. A year ago I was wearing a foot/ankle brace to help with the foot drop on my left leg - I had a walker at the house and needed to use it more than I wanted to - my pride was too big to think I had to use it all of the time. I shuffled around the house from wall to furniture just to get to "my chair", so I could get some work done on the laptop. I remember all of that and can tell I am so much better now - no brace, no walker, no shuffling - walking, working, and even jumping rope!

But what I didn't realize was what I looked like in 2010 - I knew I was better than I was a year ago, but how about when I took my first trip to Panama in June of 2010? Well I was looking back through some of my pictures from my Panama trips and I found these video clips from that first trip. These are clips from my physical therapy work with Ivan at the Bio-Fit clinic. You can see I could barely walk on my knees without falling over and how unsteady and stiff I was.

So for anyone who wonders if stem cells and the grace of our God really make a difference, just let these videos tell the story. This last video is of my present status (Nov 2012). I never thought I would be able to jump rope again, never thought I would walk normal again, and never thought I would coach again - I obviously didn't have enough faith - so I am so thankful that God decided He would smile on me even though I had given up on some of those dreams. I am better in 2012 than I have been in probably 4 or 5 years!

This graciousness and goodness bestowed on me has made me realize I have a bigger mission than coaching football - I used to think that was my mission - now I realize I am here for a bigger cause - to help others not lose Hope and not lose Faith as they are facing difficult situations.

Each week I meet and talk with someone about my journey as they are facing a similar dire situation - I get more satisfaction from that than I ever got from winning state championships (the crazy thing about those state championships - we never got satisfaction from them - we would immediately start thinking "how can we do it again"!) That's a whole new blog, so I won't get into my realization of how true Solomon was in his book, Ecclesiastes.

I simply say thanks to our gracious God, thanks to the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, and thanks to all of you dear friends who have prayed for me and cared about my health - you are the Best! May God bless all of you!

Love you all,

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Great Day in Ft Worth for Stem Cell team

Saturday, March 31 was the annual MS Walk in Ft Worth. This year, thanks to the Stem Cell Institute and some of the area stem cell patients, several of us MS sufferers and stem cell patients met for the Walk. Here's a picture of several of us who have been to Panama, or Costa Rica, for treatments - (from L - R) Richard, Carolyn, Shelley, Carla, Judi, Holly, and me.

We wanted to give the Stem Cell Institute a presence in that sea of MS victims and caregivers. I wish all of them knew that many of us in those blue t-shirts were there walking, actually completing the whole mile, even though we were once unable to do such. I wanted to grab that microphone that the organizers were using and tell all of them "There is HOPE - it doesn't have to be what you hear from your doctors so often. It can be more than 'Let's keep taking this medication so you might get worse at a slower rate' "

I personally never heard about the possibility of actually improving when I went to good doctors here in the US - but I chose to try the Stem Cell treatment in Panama, and I walked that mile on Saturday! A year ago, six months ago, I couldn't have done that - but after my third trip to Panama in September, my walking, my balance, and my stamina all improved dramatically. And many of those in our group on Saturday have a similar story; some results more dramatic than others, but most all of us have seen and felt the changes that give us that Hope that all of those sufferers at the Walk are looking for.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2012 Update

Well, I realize there may not be many readers of my Panama blog any longer, but just in case someone does return, I wanted to post an important update.

In March 2011 when I returned from my second trip to Panama (my last blog), I soon had a MS relapse. It was the biggest setback I had experienced since my diagnosis. I spent a week in the hospital in Dallas and had numbness from my toes to my chest. When I got home, I was better - the steroids had made the numbness go down to just my lower legs, but I was practically home bound - used a walker or cane most of the time and spent most hours sitting in a chair at home - feeling like this was going to be my lifestyle for the rest of my days!

Even after going to physical therapy and doing everything I was supposed to be doing, my progress was minimal. I was fitted with a brace for my left leg to help the foot drop that was causing me to stumble. My mobility was very limited and I needed help getting most anywhere. I could not hold my new grandson unless I was sitting down, and I couldn't walk across the room without thinking about each move.

In September of 2011 I went back to Panama for a short visit to get what Dr. Paz called a "little booster." My mom went with me for this third trip - we stayed in the hotel by the MultiPlaza mall and had a good time since it was mom's first trip to Panama. But the best news was what happened once we returned.

I had begun a daily log of my condition weeks before I went to Panama - mainly measuring and logging my walking and mobility - here are the exact numbers leading up to my trip and once I got back - these numbers are coming straight from my calendar log - (on a scale of 1 - 10 - how well am I'm getting around):
5,4,5,4,5,5,5,5,5+,5,(panama), 5,5+,5+,6,6,6,
7,8,6,7,7,8,7,8,8,6,6,6,7,8,7,7,8,8,8,8,8,8,7,7,7,7,8,8,8,7(end of Oct)
7+,8+8,7+,7+,7,7+,7+,8,8,7+,8,8,7+,7,7+,7,7,7+8,8+,7+,7+,8,7+,7+,7+,7,7+,7 (Dec)

I know these numbers don't mean a great deal to you, but they are huge to me - the difference in getting around at about a 5 compared to 7 & 8 is really big - numbers don't do it justice. My mobility is MUCH improved - I don't need the brace any longer, I walk like a normal person until I get tired, I can stay on my feet longer, I can jump rope again, I can stand and walk with my grandson in my arms, I don't have to think to walk from one place to another, and even Kathy sees a huge difference (she has been a little hesitant about the good of stem cells).

So I am very excited and encouraged about my improvements. I can live a fairly normal life right now. And I don't know if it's the stem cells that made the difference or simply God's grace and favor, but I do know it all happened right around the 3rd trip to Panama, so the stem cells had something to do with it. As I have said numerous times before, maybe God is using the stem cells to help me just as He used the Jordan River to heal Naaman's leprosy after he dipped in it seven times.

But I do want to say this - all of these news shows (60 Minutes, 20/20, etc) coming from the US, that keep saying there are no benefits to stem cell treatments, are only showing you what the FDA and US drug companies want them to say. They have not talked to me, or Richard Humphries, or Preston Walker or many others who have seen dramatic results - we are not healed, but our quality of life is greatly improved and many people are witnessing it. (Now that I am better and getting out, people in town constantly say, "I can't believe how well you look and how good you are doing.")

Don't listen to those media shows and don't just listen to me - come see the difference!

Thanks again to all who have helped and have been encouraging in my quest to overcome this disabling disease. I encourage all of you to take your health issues into your own hands - be pro-active. What do you have to lose? Many of you may be thinking just like I was - if I do nothing, I know where I will be in 3 years.

One last bit of information - the clinic in Panama is having good but maybe mixed results with MS treatments, but they are whipping, yes whipping, arthritis! If you have a friend or loved one who is dealing with arthritis and the doctors here have said, "your only hope of being mobile again is knee replacements and/or hip replacements", then you owe it to your friend or yourself to call me or get in touch with the stem cell clinic. What do yo have to lose? There are no side effects or dangers to stem cell treatments. Do it today!

Stay Strong!
Sam Harrell

972 268-3894 (website)