After spending nearly three weeks across an ocean a Granger resident says things are looking up.
We’ve been following Keith Miner’s story for two years now.
The 31-year-old was diagnosed with ALS three years ago and just recently returned from China where he received potential treatment for the incurable disease.
After spending 17 days at a Beijing medical facility, Miner is back home.
“It was a little scary at first but I figured it out after a few days they know what they`re doing,” says Miner.
Miner received millions of stem cells, cells that he says are already working.
“My biceps were a lot stronger right away and my shoulders, I could raise my arms a lot easier and I was standing a lot taller,” says Miner.
Doctors warned Miner he won’t see the full potential of the treatment for three to six months, but already he has a 25 percent stronger grip and is standing one and half inches taller.
“I noticed the changes and they`re small but they`re really noticeable because I don`t have that much strength,” says Miner.
Miner and his wife are expecting baby number three in November, and he’s hopeful by then he will have gained even more strength.
“I`m really hoping the treatment helps so I can pick up the baby, hold the baby and help my wife a little more with the kids,” says Miner.
Miner’s journey has inspired another Iowa family.
59-year-old Jeff Beebe was diagnosed with ALS in January and already the disease is taking its toll.
“I can`t button my shirt anymore, I choke a lot, and we went ahead and had a feeding tube put in, and my right leg is getting worse,” says Jeff Beebe.
Jeff’s daughter Jessica saw Miner’s story on the news and jumped into action.
“When I read it and read all the research I said we have to do this, we just don`t have an option, if there is the smallest chance you can prolong a life or save a life you can`t just sit at home and do nothing,” says Jessica Beebe.
The family set up a site to raise money to send Jeff to China so he can receive the same treatment Miner did.
“I just feel like it`s his only hope, his last hope,” says Beebe’s wife Joan.
Similar treatment is undergoing trials here in the United States, but that as well as FDA approval takes time.
Sending families like the Miner’s and Beebe’s who are lacking it overseas.
“I pray, you live for your kids, your grandkids and you want to be around as long as possible,” says Jeff Beebe.
Keith’s foundation, “Racers Against ALS” has already donated $1,200 to the Bebee’s but they are still a long way from their goal of $35,000.
To donate to Jeff Beebe, click here.