I receive many emails from patients who wish to know more about the Adult Stem Cell treatment I had received. I’ll be glad to answer the most frequently asked questions, below.


what is a stem cell


Useful Stem Cell Links

Stem Cells: An Introduction

Stem Cells: What Are They?

Stem Cells For Beginners

Where Do Stem Cells Come From?







What is a Stem Cell?

A stem cell is a very basic cell, that has the potential to develop into any other cell in the human body, such as a heart cell, skin cell, brain cell etc. 


What are Adult Stem Cells, and where do they come from?

Adult Stem cells are matured stem cells, which can be harvested from umbilical cord blood, bone marrow and fat (adipose tissue).

Beike Biotechnology, the company responsible for my first two treatments only uses Adult Stem Cells in their treatments, which are harvested from donated umbilical cord blood.


What type of Ataxia do you have?

I was diagnosed with a general form of Ataxia. My Ataxia is not hereditary. My symptoms appeared completely out of nowhere, when I was 27-years old, making it more likely to be Acquired Ataxia.There are many types of Ataxia. This makes a definite diagnosis difficult.


Who performed your Stem Cell Treatment?

Beike Biotechnology. They have operations centers in Thailand and China. They can be contacted HERE.


Why did you receive your first treatment in China, and second treatment in Thailand?

At the time of fundraising for my second treatment, China was reviewing its policies on stem cell treatment. Beike had sent all international patients to Thailand for the time being. There was no difference in treatment; I had received excellent service at both treatment centers in China and Thailand. Treatment in China has since resumed.


I would like to know more about the Adult Stem Cell treatment which you had received, and what it involved.

I provide an overview of my two rounds of treatments on the CHINA 2011 page, and the THAILAND 2016 page.

Please take the time to read the overviews, as there is plenty of information available on there that should answer most of your questions regarding the treatment I had received. You can also read an in-depth account of my treatment in Thailand at my THAILAND TREATMENT DIARY


How long does the treatment last? How much improvement did you see?

The treatment for me lasts approximately three to four years. I must stress that after two years following treatment, I begin to deteriorate rapidly, and after three years I begin to suffer from my symptoms.

With each treatment I had seen an overall increase from a 10-15% muscle and body strength prior to treatment, to around 40% strength after treatment. I deteriorate approximately 5-10% each year. 

I've posted videos that show my condition at 6,12 ,18-month and two years since my second treatment. View them HERE



Have you experienced any negative side effects from the treatment?

There were no side effects from the treatments.


My treatment will be administered via Lumbar Punch. Is it painful? Can I ask for IV transfusion?

In China, my first injection of stem cells was administered via Lumbar punch. It was an intensely uncomfortable and painful procedure. I had asked for the remainder of the injections to be adminsitered via IV only. For my second treatment in Thailand, I had also asked for the treatments to be administered via IV only. Each patient's treatment plan is different, and your plan may involve having both type of injections. Please speak to your doctor, or stem cell representative regarding this issue. 


How much does the treatment cost?

The treatment is expensive, no matter which company you choose. I have not checked for prices since 2016. Each treatment had cost me roughly USD $26 000 for 8 rounds of Adult stem cells and rehabilitation (30 days), excluding cost of fligths, food and other living expenses.I do believe Beike has cheaper options now, such as the USD $16 000 for 6 rounds (16 days), but you do need to check with them first. Competition between stem cell providers are on the increase, thus stem cell companies often have special offers. You can find a list below of reputable stem cell providers. Contact them for prices, and compare.


Would you recommend stem cell treatment?

Definitely, if there is no other treatment available to you. If your doctor is unable to provide you with any sort of hope or treatment for your condition, I would say yes, give the treatment a try. 


Would you recommend that someone accompanies me during my treatment?

Yes. It is advisable that you take someone with you during your stay. You will require physical assistance at some point, such as someone pushing your wheelchair for you, for instance.

Having someone accompany you is very important, also in terms of emotional and mental support. The treatment can be very challenging, and visiting a foreign country for medical treatment can be an intimidating experience. It is important that you take someone with you who is positive, and can provide encouragement to lift your spirits and motivate you.


I've been told the treatment success rates are not that high for Ataxia. 

I was told the same thing. It didn't stop me from going, and seeing success. When you are making a decision about whether to go for treatment, just ask yourself: What have you got to lose?


Will stem cell treatment work for me?

Adult Stem Cell Treatment does not work for everyone, unfortunately. There are many patients who see positive results from the treatment. Some don't. It is important that you keep your expectations realistic, when going for treatment. Your stem cell provider should tell you the same.


Do younger people see better results from the treatment?

I don't know. You would have to discuss that with your stem cell provider.


My doctor has advised me not to go for the treatment. What should I do?

My experience with Western Medical Professionals is that they are by and large totally uninformed, apathetic and ignorant when it comes to Stem Cell Treatment. 

I have received so many horror stories from patients whose doctors have advised them not to go for stem cell treatment based on completely erroneuous information, such as that stem cell treatment "is not ready yet", or that it is a "money making scam used by doctors from the East to lure desperate patients".

In most of these cases, doctors are unable to provide patients with treatment, but at the same time they don't want their patients to try somebody else's treatment. It is truly heartbreaking.

My advice: If your doctor is advising you against stem cell treatment, based on the belief that it could seriously jeapordize your health, then you should probably not go for stem cell treatment.

If you're being advised against treatment for any other reason, you should defintely go for treatment. You have nothing to lose.


The following is a true story that happened to me, and an example of the sheer apathy and ignorance shared by many doctors from the West.

In April 2014 I sat down with a so-called top neurologist from the Pretoria East Hospital, in Pretoria, South Africa. I wanted to have an opinion about my diagnoses, and wanted to show him the results from my remarkable stem cell treatment from 2011 - this included positive doctor reports and videos that shows my condition before and after adult stem cell treatment.

He refused to look at my medical reports - even the videos - saying stem cell treatment doesn't work, and that the doctors in China "must have given me Chinese water". He added that he has "never seen any medical data proving that stem cell treatment works". A simple Google search for positive stem cell stories will prove him wrong. Needles to say, I left his offices feeling shocked and humiliated. I had a smiliar encounter with my house doctor, who seemed curious, but very doubtful about my successful treatment.

I haven't been back to their offices since.


Where can I receive stem cell treatment? What do I look for in a stem cell provider?

When it comes to choosing a stem cell company, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Always ask for references. Ask around on the internet, if someone has had experience with that particular company, and if so, what sort of experience? 

Be wary of stem cell companies who promise that they can cure your illness, or companies who claim to have a high success rate with their treatments. Such companies are out to make a quick buck, and they prey on desperate and sick people.

Beike Biotech had told me prior to my first treatment and second treatment that I should know that stem cell treatment is not a cure, and that I needed to be realistic of my expectations. For me, that was a good sign that I was with the right people.

Beike Biotech is AABB accredited, which means that they adhere to the highest possible standards for blood tissue and cord banking. Their service and treatment have been nothing but outstanding, and I can recommend them without hesitation.


Where else in the world can I go for stem cell treatment?

This is a list of reputable stem cell treatment providers. Before choosing your stem cell provider, please do your homework on them.

This list is a work in progress. If you can contribute to this list of treatment centers, please contact me. Please note that the SA Stem Cell Institute in South Africa does not provide rehabilitation, only stem cell injections.

stem cell treatment centers


Do you get paid by Beike Biotech?

No. I am not affiliated with Beike Biotech. I have given consent to Beike to share my contact details with other patients who wish to go for the treatment, should they have any questions, or wish to know more about the treatment i had received. 


Is Stem Cell Treatment available in South Africa?

The wonderful news is that stem cell treatment is finally availalble in South Africa.  I have been accepted for my third round of treatments at the SA Stem Cell Institute in Parys, Free State. Treatment for me will cost R185 000, which will include 8 rounds of Adipose-derived (fat) adult stem cells, along with various other therapies designed to assist with the treatment. Please note that individual cost for treatment may vary.

Contact the SA Stem Cell Institute at: (056) 817 6043 / www.stemcellinstitute.co.za

Dr. Henriette De Vries - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

I am also aware of another stem cell company, in the east of Pretoria called Jirehstem. We had visited their clinic in April 2015, and had an in-depth discussion with Dr. Sterna Franzen, one of the doctors at the clinic. We had found her to be highly knowledgeable and very friendly. She had a very refreshing and no-nonsense approach toward the treatment.

According to the clinic, they have seen very promising results with their treatments. At that time we had decided not to go for treatment with Jirehstem, since they are rather expensive (R40 000 for a single treatment), plus they only do one treatment at a time; you must wait a few months to go back for follow-up rounds, which in my experience is highly impractical.

Contact Jirehstem at 083 455 8562 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  /  www.jirehstem.com 


Why are you having your third treatment in South Africa?

The SA Stem Cell Institute is only a three-hour drive from where I live. I wouldn't have to fly thousands of kilometres to get treatment. Also, the treatment is much cheaper. The price is also in our currency, the Rand, and not in US Dollars. With our economy continually deteriorating, I wouldn't have to worry about the Rand/Dollar exchange rate. I would gladly return to Beike Biotech's treatment centers any day for treatment. But I have to try the treatment here in South Africa. The SA Stem Cell Institute does not offer rehabilitation, only the stem cell injections. But that is not a big hurdle.


How do I raise funds for the treatment?

Raising all of the funds for your treatment can be hard work, and very daunting at first, but it is possible.  In my experience, simply begging for money was not very effective; people want something in return for their donation. All of the ideas mentioned below takes time and hard work. You have to start somewhere. Jump in and start raising money.

Here are some guidelines for effective fundraising:

1. Open a website or create a Facebook page for your treatment. Be specific about who you are, and what you need.  

2. Get your story in the news media. Contact your local newspaper or TV station and get your story out there. Exposure is very imporant, and helpful to your cause.

3. Fundraising via Crowdfunding can greatly help your cause - a simple Google search for Crowdfunding websites will guide you.

4. Google for fundraising ideas; there are hundreds of ideas out there. Do a bake sale, a garage sale, do a fun run or quiz night at your local pub.  Not every idea will generate bags full of cash, but every bit helps. 

5. Some ideas that worked for me: 

a) Hold a raffle. Ask a holiday resort if they would be willing to donate a holiday for you, to raffle. Make tickets, sell them. Make the ticket price affordable. Google for ideas and HOW TO's. You can pretty much raffle anything: TV's, Computers etc.

b) Hold a concert. Ask a local artist to perform for your benefit. Make tickets, sell them. Contact local media for exposure  for your event. It is very imporant to sell as many tickets as you can, don't just assume that people will show up. You must SELL TICKETS, as many as you can prior to your event.

 c) Ask for art from artists and sell it online, on Ebay or BidorBuy, or hold an art auction.  Make sure that you sell tickets for the auction, otherwise people won't bother to show up. Get someone from the art industry to help you, if possible.

d) Write Request for Donation letters, send them to big companies, or people who you think might be of help. Google for Fundraising Letters, and how to write them. Be specific about what you need.

6. Get friends and family involved. Once people see that you want to help yourself, they will help you.


Remember to perservere! Keep going, you WILL reach your target eventually. Remember, every drop in the bucket counts!