To the Brink and Back, A Story of Recovering from Cancer Using an Adult Stem Cell Transplant

Charlotte Lozier Institute  Aug 10, 2016

Today the Charlotte Lozier Institute releases its fourth Stem Cell Research Facts video; this story features Cindy Schroeder’s recovery from multiple myeloma after an adult stem cell transplant.

Cindy Schroeder had always lived an active life. A wife, mother of three, and special education teacher, Cindy drove more than 150 miles each day from school to school before returning home. Her life changed, however, when she began experiencing a crippling exhaustion upon waking, coughs that never seemed to go away, and eventually even trouble breathing. “Everything simple for others became a major deal for me,” recalled Cindy.

Finally, after a bout of coughing up blood one day, Cindy’s husband urged her to visit the doctor. The diagnosis was multiple myeloma, a blood cancer in which abnormal blood cells accumulate in the bone marrow, interfering with the production of normal blood cells. Multiple myeloma is considered incurable, but treatable.

“We were in the room and the doctor told her, ‘Cindy, you have cancer,’” says Ralph Ostmeyer, Cindy’s father. “She started to cry, and he says, ‘Cindy, don’t cry, we have a cure. It’s (adult) stem cell. You are a good candidate and the success rate is excellent if we can get good cells from your body.’ So that’s what we set out to do.”

Watch Cindy share her road to recovery surrounded by loving family in CLI’s new video:

Many others like Cindy are currently being treated using ethically-derived, non-controversial adult stem cell transplants, which do not require the destruction of young human life. In fact, well over one million patients worldwide have been treated using adult stem cell transplants. In 2014 alone, nearly 20,000 bone marrow and umbilical cord blood transplants were performed in the United States, according to the national Health Resources and Services Administration’s Blood Cell Transplant Report.

Additionally, a press release for a February 2015 Lancet Haematology study states:

HSCT (also known as blood and bone marrow transplant) is most often used to treat diseases of the blood and several types of cancer such as multiple myeloma or leukaemia. For many people with these diseases the only possibility of a cure is to have a HSCT.

This was certainly the case for Cindy Schroeder – whose transplant can now be added to the more than 30,000 bone marrow and cord blood transplants that were performed for multiple myeloma and similar plasma cell diseases in the United States from 2010 to 2014.

Stem Cell Research Facts is a project of the Charlotte Lozier Institute since January 2015. CLI plans to continue producing inspiring videos like Cindy Schroeder’s to raise awareness about the life-saving, research-based, and ethical treatment option of adult stem cell transplants.

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