Saturday, August 19, 2017

Can Crohn's Disease Be Cured With A Vaccine? Your Help Needed!


I'm not very comfortable with approaching people for donations, however in the past few weeks I have become a fundraiser for Crohns MAP Vaccine as I just cannot sit idly on this one. If you are able to and would like to help (or know of someone else who would be interested in donating) my fundraising link is https://www.justgiving.com/CrohnsDiseaseVaccine-MEN3936/ - every dollar helps!

If its inventor, Prof. Hermon-Taylor (a world-leading expert in Crohn's and MAP bacterium) is right, the cure for millions of people around the world with Crohn's Disease is sitting in a fridge in King's College London. Crohn's has touched my family deeply (my late grandmother, my son as well as his teenage cousin all affected). Donations are urgently required to take this vaccine to the human trial stage (mid next year)... if all goes well, the vaccine should become available around mid 2016 and write itself into medical history.  

The following image is taken from the Crohn's MAP Vaccine official website at http://crohnsmapvaccine.com/map/


Crohn's MAP Vaccine



Sunday, November 20, 2016

"Jake's" Widespread Crohn's Disease Gone Thanks To FMT! 20 November 2013

It's been a while since I posted about my son "Jake".  For those who haven't read his story, here is the link  http://www.fecalmicrobiotatransplant.com/2013/07/crohns-disease-fmt.html . He has been off medication (Imuran) for nine months now and looks and feels well.  Unfortunately his cousin who was his donor became unsuitable to donate in mid August due to picking up a parasite, so Jake has gone since then without any FMT.

Today he had a colonoscopy and endoscopy and we were thrilled with the news.  There is no sign of Crohn's Disease anywhere - not in his intestines, not in his terminal ileum and not in his duodenum!!! In fact, Professor Borody said there was no scarring or ulceration or any indication that the disease had ever existed.  It was all perfect, healthy and inflammation-free.  When he was first diagnosed with Crohn's three years ago it was very widespread.  I am sure that anyone reading who has any experience or understanding of Crohn's Disease will appreciate just how incredible this is!  The persistence has paid off.

It's still too early to say that this is a cure - only time will tell that, but his remission is not just clinical, it's visible and histological remission with no medication.  This has completely defied the "odds" so far.  It's the miracle we prayed for and it is Jake's wish and mine that this will give hope to others with this terrible disease.

I am one very, very happy mother!  What an absolute "legend" of a doctor Professor Borody is!!

Oh and by the way, Jake's skin is still clear - his acne never returned :-)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Crohn's Disease, Acne and Fecal Microbiota Transplant In Teenager - Remission Without Medication! 27 July 2013

I have hesitated in sharing my son's story with Crohn's Disease and the success we have had with FMT (fecal microbiota transplantation) until now because I didn't want to do so prematurely.

My son is 15 years old.  To protect his privacy, I will call him Jake, although that is not his real name :-).

Jake was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease a few days before his 13th birthday.  It was widespread ulceration, inflammation and infection throughout his duodenum, terminal ileum, ascending colon, descending colon and rectum.  It was a "gut-wrenching" time for me as a mother to an only child, especially after being told how very serious this disease is, how extensively he had it, that he would have it for the rest of his life, and probably do poorly in the long-term because he was so young at diagnosis. 

I was worried sick with the long term consequences of my son taking immune-suppressive drugs (in his case, Imuran) - on the other hand I was terrified of the consequences of Crohn's Disease and felt we were between a "rock and a hard place".  I cannot begin to put into words just how heartbroken and helpless I felt, but I am sure that any parent who reads this will understand.

Professor Tom Borody was recommended to us by a family friend as being an outstanding gastroenterologist.  Unfortunately he was unable to treat Jake until he turned 14 as he was a paediatric patient, however tests he was able to order showed that Jake also had a strain of c-diff (clostridium difficile) - it was not the worst strain, but Prof. Borody felt that we needed to get rid of that first.  It was what he called a "super infective".

Within days of his 14th birthday, Jake had a gastroscopy and colonoscopy.  The Imuran had certainly helped to take care of the crohn's in his colon - however his terminal ileum was still swollen, inflamed and pussey.  His duodenum, still had some crohn's-like ulcerations.  Prof. Borody recommended FMT to kill off the c-diff and we proceeded to have suitable family members tested as potential donors.  Jake began a three week course of oral vancomycin to weaken the c-diff and then in April 2012 had his first FMT via colonoscopy- his terminal ileum was still very inflamed and swollen.  I continued to administer FMT treatments to Jake at home and his 14 year old cousin was the donor.  We also continued his Imuran.

A remarkable and unexpected bonus to having the FMT was that acne that had plagued Jake for the past year and a half had completely disappeared 7 days after treatment began.  It has never returned!!

In November of 2012 Jake had a colonoscopy and endoscopy.  To Prof. Borody's surprise, Jake's colonoscopy was perfect - the terminal ileum looked normal, as if there had never been a problem!  The only trace was one single tiny erosion in his duodenum.  There was no trace of c-diff either!

As advised, we reduced his Imuran and gradually over the next few months.  Jake was completely off his medication by March 2013, so as at the time of writing, it's been almost five months.  Jake is growing tall, his appetite is huge (perfectly normal for a healthy teenage boy) and he is putting on weight appropriately for his age.  I still do top-up FMT treatments every 3 to 4 weeks - it's difficult to know exactly when the right time to stop is - in total he has had well over 115 treatments.  Prof. Borody says that Jake needs to develop his own microbiota.  

I do not know if FMT offers a cure for crohn's disease - but I do know that there is no way my son would have been able to sustain any remission without medication prior to this as we had tried a couple of times to reduce his Imuran but both times his symptoms came back within two weeks.  What I do know is that FMT has tremendous potential for Crohn's and other diseases and definitely needs further studies.  I also have to stress the importance of stringent donor testing.

I will keep you all posted in the months ahead of Jake's progress, but thus far, as a mother, I cannot be more delighted with how well this has gone.  I am also so incredibly thankful for Prof. Tom Borody for being one of those scientists who dares to think "outside the box".  It is because of doctors like him that medicine advances instead of remaining stagnant.  It is because of him that Jake's future is looking good instead of bleak and that I can cry tears of happiness and gratitude instead of despair.


(Please click here to read part 2 of "Jake's" Story - November 2013 (One year later) - Colonoscopy/Gastroscopy showing no sign of Crohn's Disease whatsoever - NOT even in his duodenum!)