WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Coming Together for a Cure began as a benefit concert to raise awareness of adult stem cell therapy.
Co-founders Ryan and Blake Benton are brothers. Ryan is the first person in the world with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, DMD, to be successfully treated with mesenchymal stem cells.
Their nonprofit is dedicated to raising awareness about treatment and connecting people to resources.
“Let us continue to endure; there are simply so many times in this journey one step forward, two steps back,” Ryan said.
Ryan’s last act may have been 15 years ago.
“Most of my friends who grew up with MD died at 22, so I started doing stem cells at the very age that was crucial for me,” Ryan said.
He just turned 37; he credits stem cell therapy for exceeding his doctor’s expectations.
“They’re little repair cells, and they go in and look for areas of your body that need to be repaired,” Ryan said.
Not all stem cell therapies are legal in the US Ryan hopes MSC therapy will one day become standard practice.
“When someone arrives after an accident, you don’t think twice about giving them blood; because we couldn’t give people stem cells,” Ryan said.
“Everyone wants to put themselves in the shoes of someone who’s had that experience before,” Blake said.
They are those actions that connect people to resources.
“Anything from multiple sclerosis to muscular dystrophy to autism to spinal cord injury,” Blake said.
Ryan and Blake are working on a documentary to share their story with others around the world who have received stem cell therapy.
An exact release date has not been set.
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