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2-Year-Old With Cerebral Palsy Walking After Stem Cell Infusion

By Stephen Luke

A 2-year-old San Diego girl who received a stem cell infusion of her own umbilical cord blood, banked at birth, is giving new hope to parents of children with brain injuries.

Doctors have used cord blood for decades to help with blood disorders and some other diseases, but now a handful of new studies show those same cells can travel up to baby’s brain and heal injured areas.

The ramifications could impact everything from autism to cerebral palsy.

Ava Johnson, born with cerebral palsy, had limited use of the entire left side of her body. She didn’t use her left hand and couldn’t walk at 18 months until an experimental treatment changed everything, according to her parents.

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