My little brother, Ryan, is twelve and a half years old. He is one of the sweetest kids you'll ever meet. He's always trying to connect with people, and he loves to make people laugh. He loves video games and his favorite superhero has been the Hulk ever since he found out what the Hulk was at 3 or 4. He's always got a twinkle in his eyes, whether it's out of mischief because he's trying to pull a prank on somebody, or whether it's just because he's happy to be alive.

Ryan and I have had quite the bond ever since he was born; we've got a better relationship than most siblings ever do. When he was a baby, he had acid reflux and I was one of two or three people who could get him to stop crying even though I was barely strong enough to hold him. When he was a chubby little three- or four-year-old, I'd always take him outside to play with me and my friends, or to go see his little friends (even though sometimes I didn't want to). Despite our 7 1/2 year age difference, we've been really close. I adore my little brother, and it kills me to live so far away from him; Utah to Georgia is quite the distance.

What breaks my heart even worse is that Ryan has been legally blind his entire life. He was diagnosed with optic nerve hypoplasia at 4 months old, which means his optic nerves (which transfer images to the brain) didn't fully develop. If you didn't watch him closely, you would think he is a normal kid. He can see fairly well. He loves to play a game where every time you see a yellow car, you say, "Score!" (Until he starts losing, that is. Then he doesn't want to play anymore.) I want him to be a normal kid with all my heart. I want him to be able to drive, and take girls on dates, and go out and do whatever he can dream up. If he wants to be a pilot, I want him to have the ability to do so.

For years and years, ever since Ryan's diagnosis, our family has prayed for a miracle. We've prayed for Ryan's eyes to improve so that he can see the way we can. We have prayed hard for some sort of treatment to become available for his condition. Recently our prayers have been answered! In China, Beike (bay-kuh) Biotechnology does stem cell treatments for a variety of issues, including optic nerve hypoplasia. The stem cells come strictly from umbilical cord blood. The results patients with Ryan's same problem have seen have been nothing short of miraculous. There is nothing our family wants more than to get Ryan to China and give him this chance at his very own miracle.

So, now I ask you, my readers, for help. The treatment is not covered by insurance and it isn't cheap. We need all the help we can get to get Ryan to China. Please go to the link below and donate whatever you can, and know our family will always be grateful from the bottom of our hearts. Especially me.  Thanks you! Sydney

I previously posted that my twelve year old son, Ryan, is legally blind from a condition he was born with called Optic Nerve Hypoplasia (ONH) (read about it here).  We have prayed for years for a miracle to help restore Ryan's vision or improve it.  Recently while doing a web search on ONH, I found out they have been successfully treating it in China with non-embryonic stem cell therapy.  We were so excited that this wonderful opportunity was brought to our attention.

I contacted Beike (BAY-kuh) Biotechnology for more information about treating Optic Nerve Hypoplasia (ONH) with umbilical cord stem cells.  They very quickly replied and sent me all sorts of video testimonials, treatment protocol information and a medical form to return if we wanted to pursue this option and see if Ryan could be treated. I filled out the medical form and sent some medical records to them.  I was so excited to see this email the very next day!
Dear Audrey, 
I am pleased to inform you that Ryan has been accepted for treatment by our medical department. The doctors have reviewed all of the medical information you have provided and have confirmed that we can accept Ryan for stem cell injections for his Bilateral Optic Nerve Hypoplasia based on this information. I have attached a letter about this acceptance from our International Medical Director, Dr. Kara Zhang. 

Primary Recommendation  (please note that all prices are in US dollars)  :
Number and Type of Injections: 6 umbilical cord blood stem cell (UCBSC) injections by IV and Lumbar Puncture. Retrobulbar injection is initially recommended.
Number of Days: 15 days (including admission and discharge dates)
Treatment Center(s): Guangzhou, China
Treatment Price: $18,500 USD

Secondary Recommendation: 7 or 8 injections
7 injections - $21,000 (18 days)
8 injections - $24,000 (21 days) 
Again, we are very pleased to inform you about this acceptance and hope it will bring either some sense of excitement and/or relief. Please let us know questions you have and when you are ready to register for treatment, please submit the online Treatment Registration form. 
We are RAISING FUNDS for Ryan so that he can have 8 injections of stem cells.   We appreciate any help you can give!  To Donate please go HERE

You can also help by sharing this link in your emails: http://www.gofundme.com/HelpRyan
or posting a donation widget on your blog or website.  Get it HERE.

A few days ago I did a google search for Optic Nerve Hypoplasia because my son, Ryan, has Optic Nerve Hypoplasia (ONH) and is legally blind.  The doctors told us his condition was unchanging and there was nothing we could do to make it better.  We have tried to prepare him for his teenage years and the disappointment of discovering he couldn't see well enough to get a driver's license.  

I haven't done a Google search on ONH treatments/information for a few years,  Last week, I felt prompted to do quick Google search on ONH.  I was very surprised when Google pulled up a website called StemCellsChina and how they are using adult/umbilical stem cell treatment for all kinds of nerve problems including ONH.  I couldn't quit reading and watching the videos.  I was absolutely stunned that we could have an answer that could make it possible to improve Ryan's vision.

Below is a video about a girl named Macie Morse with the same diagnosis as Ryan (ONH) and her experience after receiving stem cell therapy.

Macie Morse received her first round of stem cells in 2008 to treat blindness caused by optic nerve hypoplasia. After this treatment her vision had improved to a level where she could get her driver's license. We caught up with Macie and her mother during a second round of adult stem cell treatments in 2010.Macie's story has been covered extensively by international news outlets. In 2008 a US television production crew attempted an intervention to prevent Macie from coming the first time. Macie's parents raised her without teaching her Braille or focusing much on her blindness. At 15, Macie did not know her visual abilities would keep her out of fighter-pilot school, F1 competition and all other normal driving activities. These interviews were shot while Macie and her family were staying at the hospital in Qingdao.