He calls himself the miracle man but good science and a lot of good luck may have
more to do with his recovery from Leukemia than a true miracle. Diagnosed with
chronic meylogenous leukemia back in 1995, Stephen Sprague says he is “A man touched
by God and miracles…more than one.”
Doctors tried everything to cure him, including
months of chemotherapy. He was on a waiting list for a bone marrow transplant when
his disease took a turn for the worse. An only child with no siblings, there were
no donors available and none in the registries matched his type.
“I was diagnosed
with a chronic kind of leukemia and they told me you have 3-5 yrs before you have
to start to worry, so I said I can deal with that. (But) a year and a half after
diagnosis I went from first stage to blast crisis stage - the end stage of this process.”
as Stephen’s luck would have it, an unknown woman in New York decided to donate her
baby’s umbilical cord after birth.
“She was at a hospital that had a cord blood
collection program and I am sure they asked her would she be willing to donate and
obviously she said yes. She to this day has no idea what she’s done. Part of the
donation process is that the mother and child remain anonymous.”
the anonymous donation process, that woman will never know that thanks to her, Stephen
Sprague was completely cured of Leukemia and was alive fourteen years later to tell
his story to participants at a November 2011 conference in the Vatican on the therapeutic
potential of adult stem cells.
In this program by Tracey McClure, you can listen
to Stephen’s story and to Dr. Andrew Pecora who was determined to save his life. Dr.
Pecora and his team of researchers at Hackensack University Medical Center in New
Jersey were conducting the first clinical trials using umbilical cord blood as an
alternative source of stem cells to bone marrow and embryos when Stephen Sprague arrived,
asking them for help ...