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11 Nov 2015
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Miracle Story: 8-Year Old Twins Successfully Treated With Stem Cells

In the past two decades, stem cell transplants have been widely used in the treatment of various medical conditions across the world. In most clinical trial cases, these transplants proved to be successful and paved way for novel treatment options. Recently, Kian and Luis King, eight year old twins were affected by a rare medical condition, juvenile Krabbe disease and required stem cell transplant in Britain. Through Antony Nolan Organization, the twins were able to find donor matches for the transplants and got a chance to live a healthier life.

Juvenile Krabbe Disease

It is a rare genetic condition caused by a mutation in the chromosome 14, often fatal affecting the nervous system. This degenerative disorder causes fever, seizure, irritability, stiffness in limbs, degenerative motor skills, slow mental development etc., between 3-6 months of birth. Other symptoms include deafness, muscle weakness, paralysis, blindness, and prolonged weight loss based on the severity of the condition. During diagnosis, this condition is often confused with cerebral palsy as the symptoms are similar.

Kian and Luis King Treatment

Kian and Luis King were the first to undergo stem cell transplant for Krabbe’s disease in Britain. They were seven years old when the doctors suggested stem cell transplant as the only option to treat the condition. Through Antony Nolan public stem cell registry, their parents were able to create awareness and find matching donors worldwide. To their surprise, Antony Nolan team could find two matching umbilical cord stem cell units for both the kids.

Stem cell transplant is the only way to slow down the progression of the symptoms and improve the lives of the affected kids. However, Luis body rejected the first transplant and there were no more cells from the same donor for a second transplant. Doctors found Dean King, the father of the twins as a half match for Luis and used his bone marrow stem cells to treat the kid. With successful second round of transplant, Luis was able to improve and get better with subsequent treatment, medication and physiotherapy.

After one year, now the kids are healthy and still continue to inspire people for stem cell donation. Their campaign helped people to sign up for stem cell donation and thus nominated for Antony Nolan young hero award. Although stem cells are not used in every hospital as a treatment, they have the potential to treat many medical conditions and bring a change into the lives of thousands of people.

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