Sean Hu of Beike Biotechnology Would be Proud
Her lemonade stand is much more than just a way to earn a few extra dollars. Stem cell therapy in China offers hope for her five-month-old baby brother…
Image: Kathy Moore of Tampa Bay Online
Each glass of lemonade or tea that eight-year-old Brianna Bermudez sells is another dollar for her five-month-old baby brother Bryce. Bryce was born with an underdeveloped optic nerve that cannot send visual signals to his brain.
Known as optic nerve hypoplasia, this condition is generally considered incurable – except possibly using stem cell therapy at Beike Biotechnology in Shenzhen, China.
Beike’s procedure involves stem cells harvested from umbilical cord blood, not the more controversial procedure of removing stem cells from human fetuses.
The procedure is not yet approved by the FDA in the United States. Nor does Briana’s family have the time to wait for the research required for FDA approval. Little Bermudez hopes to hit the $50,000 mark with her lemonade sales so her baby brother can go to Shenzhen for treatment.
Beike has had some success with stem-cell-only treatments for visually impaired patients. Most of the treatments done in their clinics are holistic – combining stem cell therapy with an injection of nerve growth factor, acupuncture, and rehabilitation therapy.
However, for their first forty foreign optic nerve hypoplasia and septo-optic dysplasia (ONH/SOD) patients, they were required each to go through intensive testing from local doctors before and after the treatment.
The treatment worked successfully in these Chinese clinical trials.