Tennessean, August 2, 2010

Dawn Gusty lay face down on the floor, struggling like an infant to crawl to the next room. Her brain knew what she wanted to do, but it couldn't tell her limp, heavy legs to perform the duty. The disease she had fought for 12 years was winning. Defeated, she buried her face in the carpet and sobbed. Dawn's multiple schlerosis had robbed her of mobility, first gradually, relegating her to a cane to steady her wobbly frame, and then more rapidly. Until four weeks ago. That's when her husband pushed the wheelchair carrying her frail body into a clinic in Tijuana, Mexico, to get what the United States wouldn't give her: a stem cell transplant. Healthy cells from her bone marrow were replanted in areas of her body affected by her multiple sclerosis. The practice is illegal in the United States, except for research. Twenty-four hours later, Dawn could stand for about a minute unassisted, and with help from a rolling walker, she could do knee bends. Unimaginable before.



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