As an expedition medic in my 30s, I rely on my ability to walk on uneven terrain in remote parts of the world. In 2012 while learning and practicing the acrobatic art of parkours, repeated injuries to my toes led to a severe osteoarthritis in the big toe joints which became so stiff that I couldn’t walk in most shoes without severe pain. Hiking boots, crucial for my adventures in rugged places, were not possible to wear. I was also severely limited in my ability to run, jump, snowshoe, stand for long periods of time, and live an active lifestyle.
My podiatrist told me it wasn’t going to get much better and that I was just going to have to wear only flexible shoes.
I had several stem cell procedures at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute in Costa Rica beginning in January 2018. 7 months later I was working 12-14 hour shifts in a hospital in Africa, trekking around Madagascar, and walking in sand without issue. I am currently in Greenland, in hiking boots, with little discomfort.
I have been fortunate to experience the potential of stem cell regenerative medicine both as a patient and clinician.