It is very nice to see 4 year old Brandon Meinke standing his own feet. The situation was unthinkable even before a few months. The boy was suffering from spinal muscular atrophy. This genetic disease affects Brandon’s motor neurons. He is missing the gene that produces a protein to protect his nerves, leaving his nerves to deteriorate and die, causing paralysis.

At Qingdao Cheng Yang Peoples Hospital in Qingdao, China, Brandon received a stem cell injection into his spine every four days with physical therapy in between. It’s a procedure unavailable in the United States.At Qingdao Cheng Yang Peoples Hospital in Qingdao, China, Brandon received a stem cell injection into his spine every four days with physical therapy in between. It’s a procedure unavailable in the United States.

At Qingdao Cheng Yang Peoples Hospital in Qingdao, China, Brandon received a stem cell injection into his spine every four days with physical therapy in between. It’s a procedure unavailable in the United States.Injected stem cells—the cells Brandon received were from umbilical cord blood—migrate to the problem and program themselves to do whatever the body is missing, Martin said.

The treatment cost $20,000. The family raised enough money to cover the treatment and costs while in China, but they still are paying off more than $4,000 in airline tickets.Brandon became a star while sightseeing. Chinese people were infatuated with his blond hair, and teen girls wanted pictures with him.

Since returning from China, he can peddle a bike and do something he never could before—climb stairs. During therapy in Madison, Brandon pulled himself up, held on to railings with both hands and walked up a flight of stairs that were half the size of normal ones.

The Janesville Gazette first wrote about Brandon and his family in September, when they were raising money for the $20,000 cost of treatment and travel. Seven weeks after their return, Brandon’s grandparents, who raise him in their Janesville home, said the trip was worth every penny.

Source: Gazette Xtra.com