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A Chance for Facu
“I am Mariana Guezamburu, Facundo’s Mom. I will tell you a bit of our family story and our experience with stem cells.”
How did you get to know about MaterCell?
“I got to know about MaterCell 12 years ago, when a friend told me that she was going to preserve her son’s stem cells there.
In that moment, I knew that they could be useful for leukemia treatments, and that people could implant their own stem cells in order to get better.
So, we decided to preserve our sons’ stem cells too, as a health shelter, without knowing that life would lead us to need them for Facu. Now I am grateful on making that decision.”
How is Facu’s life story?
“Facu was born in 2013 with a condition, that we don’t know exactly if it occurred during birth or afterwards, that caused cerebral palsy.
Two years after Facu’s birth, I attended a conference where I could hear about progress on stem cells research, and for what pathologies they could be helpful. There is where I got to know that stem cells could be useful for treatments of cerebral palsy caused by hypoxia at birth or after birth.
So, I contacted MaterCell again in order to know how could we start planning a treatment for Facu’s disease.”
What method was used for the treatment?
“An autologous stem cells transplant - A transfusion of his own umbilical cord blood.”
Can you tell us about your experience with MaterCell and Duke?
“The experience with them was amazing. All the support received from Matercell, together with their doctors and all the people involved, was spectacular. Unconditional support.
In Duke we had a very good experience as well. People were very kind, they sang nice songs to Facu, 9 doctors participated during the transfusion.
The first 20 minutes were crucial to know how Facu would react. And then, we just went back to the hotel, got relaxed and took care of Facu.
The next day, we went back to the hospital to check that he was OK and that’s it.”
How did the treatment help Facu?
“It was very helpful for his immune system, and great improvements were seen in his attention and cognitive functioning. We still have to work hard on his motor skills, but it is not impossible. The improvements in his immune system were impressive.”
What would be your advice to other families?
“If you get information about preserving stem cells when you are pregnant, do not hesitate. My experience was fantastic. I would do it again and I really recommend it. Please, do not hesitate.
If you can preserve them, maybe in a future they could be helpful for a family member, or you can make a donation. For whomever they could be needed, they will be welcome.
When I decided to preserve my sons’ stem cells, I did it as a health insurance. I took it as a health reassurance for the future. I appreciate I have listened about stem cells when my friend told me about them and making the decision of preserve them. They were finally helpful for my little son, Facu.”