Stem Cell

Reporter: Andrea Burns

Western medicine offers Claire Anderson little chance of beating the muscular dystrophy that's stealing her independence. The 37 year old mum's now confined to a wheelchair most of the time, even making a cup of coffee's a struggle. Claire's pinning her hopes on experimental injections of embryonic stem cells. The radical treatment is not yet approved in Australia, but on offer in Delhi, India at a cost.

Claire travelled to the clinic run by controversial Dr Geeta Shroff last year and now she believes going back is her best hope of being cured.

Twice a day Claire was injected with stem cells and had rigorous physio as part of the 8 week long regime. The price $60,000…

The doctor claims to have already helped hundreds who were normally relegated to the "too hard" basket. People just like Claire.

Convinced the treatment has stopped the symptoms progressing, Claire's now desperate to return for a follow up. The cost this time will be $30,000. Money she doesn't have, but treatment she believes she can't afford to miss.

Not everyone believes the Indian doctor has the solution. Muscular Dystrophy Association scientist, Professor Steve Wilton says 'he'd love this to work. His goal in life is for muscular dystrophy to be cured and the he'd retire. He says "the treatment hasn't been proven and that anecdotal evidence doesn't count".

Claire says her seven year old daughter Sabine is her reason for persevering.

Time will tell whether the stem cells are the magic fix-all. Supporters believe they are, but Claire Anderson says she hasn't got time to wait for science to catch up.

Claire Anderson is holding a fundraising day which will include face painting, clowns, balloon twisting, sausage sizzle, bollywood dancing…

DATE: Sunday 17 May 2009

TIME: 2pm - 6pm

LOCATION: Burswood Park Golf Course