My Journal - Week 28 (01Mar10)

We would do anything for our children, but does that include stem cell treatments?

Every time I look online for a new forum to meet and chat with other parents who have children in their lives who have Down syndrome, I see ads and treatments posted on the site for the possibility of curing Ds.  Like any curious mom, I check them out to see what is being said.  Now, I have no intention of feeling or believing that my child needs "curing" but I am always open minded enough to think that if there is something out there that may help my son better his own potential, I will listen.  If there is a book, or video that will help Hunter to learn, I may buy it.  In that same case, I keep my mind open in that very same way, when doctors suggest that someday there will be help available that they call a treatment.  What I will not do, is think that my child needs to be changed.  If there is something that may help him learn better, or develop better, like any scholastic tool, if it doesn't harm him, I will listen. 

Here is what I came across (first the written testimonial of the person who's son underwent this treatment):

Luca - Down's Syndrome

Luca’s mother - “I was told by my pediatrician my son Luca had Down’s Syndrome and that their was nothing that could be done. After his stem cell treatment a miracle occurred, he eventually became completely normal in appearance and his I.Q. actually tested higher than average for his age”.

This is the video about the doctor and the treatment.  (It is 18 minutes long, because it has three different stories one of which was about Luca and his Down syndrome treatment.)
Here is the web site regarding this doctor and treatment:

Like my last post about potential cures, I am left with a curious and conflicting feeling.  I accept my son, and I like him just the way he is, but is that irresponsible of me not to consider an available "treatment" that supposedly could help him where his IQ is concerned?  I am left with the thought, if my child did not have Ds, would I consider "treatment" to raise his IQ if it were low.  Because it is medical, is it different that we as a society are constantly struggling with always trying to better educate our children and ultimately provide them with the means of making them smarter?  Is, at the end of the day, the result different than the TV infomercial that shows a baby reading due to a video that teaches the child how to relate an image to a word?  (Yes because this is a medical treatment, and the other is a learning tool.  Hopefully the end results are the same, but the medical treatment gives a child with a genetic anomaly the chance at achieving the same goal.)  So at the end of the day, where does that leave us?  Are we bad or good parents either way?  Are we bad because some may think we are trying to change our child, or bad if we don't do it.  And are we are good because we accept our son as he is, or because we want to help our son and give him the best possible treatments available. 

I have an ongoing poll regarding potential cures and what you would do.  Please visit the poll and vote if you haven't already.  I am curious what others think about this issue.


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