Keremeos resident Darryl Brewer said after receiving stem cell therapy in the United States for his chronic back pain, he can lead an active pain-free lifestyle again. (Robin Grant - Review Staff)

Okanagan man says stem cell therapy changed his life

Darryl Brewer says he went from being immobile with chronic pain to leading an active lifestyle

Darryl Brewer still can’t believe what happened to him.

Five years ago, the 79-year-old was walking for more than hour each day. Then the discs in his back began to deteriorate to the point where he experienced so much pain, he could barely move.

In the spring, out of desperation, Brewer said he attended a seminar in Penticton about stem cell therapies for those suffering with chronic pain from an Idaho-based clinic. After his back surgery was delayed in Canada, he said he was so desperate for a solution he drove himself to Idaho for a consultation.

“I got up one morning and I couldn’t walk at all. So I decided to follow up the seminar with a consultation, which they paid for. I travelled to Idaho. They put me up in a hotel and then I consulted with them the following day,” he said.

READ MORE: South Okanagan mom on the road to recovery following stem cell treatment

The Keremeos resident said the clinic doctor warned him that the therapy doesn’t work on everyone and that he could only get half of the $5,000 he would pay for the therapy if that was the case. Brewer said he decided to take the treatment after the hour-long consultation.

“The pain was so severe that when you are desperate, you’d almost do anything to stop that pain.”

Three days after the stem cell treatment, which involved injecting the stem cells into the part of his back that was causing the issues, he said the pain completely disappeared. While he said he still had some discomfort he felt was normal for someone his age, the severe pain was gone.

“The treatment is so simple that it is mind boggling. They inject you with stem cells. They buy stem cells from the labs, remove the DNA from them and then introduce them back into me. Because they have no DNA, there is no possibility of rejection,” he said of how the treatment was explained to him at the clinic.

Stem cell therapy remains a controversial practice in Canada. In May, Health Canada announced it considers the therapy to be a type of drug treatment. It must go through rigorous reviews and be formally approved before being legally offered to the public. Health Canada has also recently been cracking down on clinics in provinces that offer the treatment, telling them to stop because there is a lack of clinical evidence saying the treatment is safe and the long-term adverse effects are still not known.

READ MORE: In a fight against cancer, Victoria man’s only stem cell match was his own donation

But now that Brewer said he can go back to his normal active routine, he said he is left disappointed and angry at the Canadian medical system, which he thinks only applies band aid solutions to people’s medical problems. He said he didn’t feel Canadian doctors were honest with him about his chances of recovery after the four-hour back surgery they said he would require.

“I’m not a young person and for all these years I have believed what our doctors and what our medical professionals have said was true,” he said.

“I could do nothing physically. Now I’m out in the yard everyday. I’m working, I’m landscaping my yard right now. I’m feeling that I am doing everything that I am doing and more than what I think I should be able to do.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Defining the difference: Supportive housing and emergency shelters in Kelowna

The Journey Home Strategy calls for both types of housing to help people experiencing homelessness

Okanagan Water Board opens floodgates with call for grant applications

Water Conservation and Quality Improvement program open from Armstrong to Osoyoos

Boil water notice issued for west side area of Okanagan Lake

The notice impacts Westshore Estates water system users

New juicery set to grow in Kelowna

Local Pressery will launch Dec. 22

West Kelowna’s budget includes adding eight-new positions next year

If approved, the city will have added approximately 28 new employees in the past two years

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

Vandalism closes public washrooms in Penticton’s Okanagan Lake Park indefinitely

A post by the city’s Facebook said the damage is ‘quite extensive’

RCMP uncover meth in arrest of Sicamous woman linked to alleged pellet gun shooting

Police say methamphetamine and other drugs found in car driven by suspect

Disturbing find: Shuswap family seeking Christmas tree locates several animal carcasses

Black bear, a coyote and five deer found dumped in gravel pit west of Salmon Arm

Pawsative Pups: Help your dog love their crate

Lisa Davies is a new columnist for Black Press who writes about dog training

Spark Joy: The art of giving and receiving

Barb and Wendy at Simply Spark Joy help you to create a clutter free home on the Black Press Media

Coldstream surf shop welcomes winter with paddle

Winter Chill event Saturday, Dec. 21, on Kal Lake is ‘food’-raiser for food bank

Most Read