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Little Girl Gets Stem Cell Treatment For Deadly Disease

Reported by: Shanisty Myers
Last Update: 11/17 1:09 am

WIAT-Birmingham, AL

She's only 16 months old and full of surprises. A little girl with a disease so rare, only a handful are diagnosed each year.  Aspen Brown lives with Tay-Sachs disease. We first introduced you to her last month. She had difficulty holding her head up, her eyes weren't alert, and she couldn't cry. Her health continued to deteriorate.  There is no cure for Tay-Sacks. Researchers believe a stem cell procedure is the only possible treatment for the deadly disease. So Aspen's family traveled to Peru, hoping and praying for a miracle.  Now, they're back home in Hanceville.

Aspen underwent two rounds of Stem Cell Treatment. Aspen's mother, Brandy, says the results were immediate.

"The next day after treatment, she raised her head up and for the first time I was actually able to see her neck," Brandy says. “She was real floppy before and wouldn't hold herself with her muscles, and when I picked her up this time you could feel her resisting and her muscles working.”

Since diagnosis, the Brown's have been very open about their daughter's condition, by keeping a daily blog.

Last week, Keith posted a 50 second video of Aspen and her brother on his blog. Within 10 hours, his inbox was flooded with more than 700 emails!

“I had these people from Belize and it was a woman saying, please God help me, please put me in contact with the people you're dealing with and I don't have the heart to turn those people down,” Keith says.

Aspen is also touching lives in her own backyard. Chandler Echols is a near-drowning victim, who suffered tremendous brain damage. Chandler and his mother, Wendy, are in Peru this week.

“They got to go before us and just seeing pictures of Aspen and me just seeing her I can tell it's helping her, so that gives me hope too that it's going to help Chandler," Wendy tells us. 

The Brown's are balancing optimism and reality with their daughter's recovery.

“Everyone that comes into the house I'm like please tell me your opinion, tell me what you see because I don’t want it to be something I just want to see,” Brandy says. 

For now, Aspen is keeping faith alive for thousands worldwide.

Aspen will get another MRI in six months and that's when doctors will determine if the treatment is helping. The Browns will then go back to Peru for another round of stem cell treatment.

If you would like to learn more about Aspen or donate to her cause, log on to Keith’s blog:

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