Funduro for Justin
14 December 2019 | Health
Dune 7 Adventures was a hive of activity recently, with the sound of roaring motorbikes and party tunes conjured up by local musicians filling the air.
The occasion was a funduro hosted to raise funds for Justin Koch (10) who requires another stem cell treatment in India, for which he needs about N$200 000.
Justin was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at a very young age.
According to Justin’s mom Kim, they managed to raise N$10 000 thanks to the funduro.
“This was the first funduro we organised, with 37 bikers and quadbike riders taking part. We learned hard lessons and will be prepared for the next one. Still, the bikers really enjoyed the track that was set out. However, some unforeseen expenses incurred on the day limited the amount of funds we raised.”
They hoped to have at least 100 bikers attending the event and wanted to raise N$25 000.
“We are now praying that God provides so that Justin can have his second surgery, which is actually the most important. Unfortunately we don’t have more time to do another fundraiser.”
Justin and Kim travelled to Mumbai, India, for his first session of stem cell treatment in July this year. The treatment uses Justin’s own cells and is completely safe.
“There is a 98% guarantee that Justin’s condition will improve with this treatment. It requires that he be hospitalized in India for seven days. Thereafter he will receive four hours of therapy per day, six days a week over a period of six months afterwards.”
The specialised therapy program is designed to stimulate cells which will assist in them multiplying and repairing brain damage.
The second session is scheduled for this month and together with the necessary scans, it will clearly indicate any improvements.
Justin has already shown huge improvements after the first treatment.
“He drooled severely his entire life due to low muscle tone in his face/mouth. We couldn’t go anywhere without having a pile of facecloths in his bag. After the first session, the drooling is no more. We are still shocked about this huge change.”
Kim said that in June this year, while they were India, they discovered that Justin’s lungs are small and his hips rotate inwards.
“We had no idea about this. None of the doctors we consulted over the past 10 years has ever been concerned about his lungs or hips and have never suggested x-rays. When you look at Justin’s hips, you can’t physically see that they are rotated inwards.
We are not sure if his hip problem was there from birth or if it developed later and then worsened.”
This new information enabled a better understanding about why every ’flu Justin picks up, develops into bronchitis overnight. This also effects his chest badly.
“We assume his lungs are underdeveloped due to being born premature at 29 weeks.”
Justin lies down, his legs are not straight and naturally flop open. When he is seated in his wheelchair, his legs cannot bend at 90 degrees. His legs flop open at the knees and when he sits.
After four months of therapy, repeated stretches, strapping and continuously correcting the position of his limbs, there has also been improvement in his leg position.
“His legs now lie in a much better position after all these years! This is also the first time in Justin’s entire life that he can sit on the edge of a bed or chair. He achieved this goal within the first two months after stem cell surgery.”
Justin has also been off his seizure medication for more than a month now.
“He can now slowly lose weight and become more active during therapy. The meds made him pick up a large amount of weight.
We praise God for all these changes. It’s truly miraculous.”