Justine Asher, 35, a paraplegic who was told she could undergo a miracle cure called stem cell therapy for R120 000 to be able to walk again, has been given the go-ahead to sue the Cape Town businessman and his American girlfriend who formulated the “unsafe” and “untested” treatment.
The couple, Stephen van Rooyen and Laura Brown are on the FBI’s wanted list in the US and face a 51-count indictment handed down by a federal grand jury in Atlanta in March. The US has applied for their extradition, but they are opposing it.
The couple’s US-based company Biomark International was shut down in the US in 2003, but the couple came to South Africa and set up an office, trading under the name Advanced Cell Therapeutics (ACT).
Asher is now traumatised by the fact that she may have contracted HIV or another disease. The treatment has not improved her condition. The court gave Brown a chance to oppose the matter on December 19.