Local Man Travels To Sweden For Stem Cell Cancer Treatment

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Mary Bubala joined WJZ in December 2003. She now anchors the 4-4:30...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—One man journeys across the world to find a cure for his cancer. 

Mary Bubala reports, it turns out the cure is as rare as the cancer. 

Doctors thought it was asthma. But for 30-year-old Christopher Lyles, the diagnosis turned out to be much worse.

Doctors told him he had a rare form of cancer in his trachea. The tumor was inoperable and chemo and radiation didn’t help much.

So Lyles– a Morgan State and Hopkins alum– used his network of friends, colleagues and family to search out the one and only doctor who could cure him.

“I leave for Sweden tomorrow,” Lyles said.

A well-known doctor in Sweden, using cutting edge technology will craft a new trachea for Lyles –using his own stem cells.

“I won’t be the first one to have trachea transplant,” Lyles said. “But this type of methodology, I will be the first person in the world to have this.”

But insurance companies won’t cover the $ 450,000 price of the surgery and hospital costs. So Lyles and his family are raising funds to help pay for the surgery. And he wants to go further, helping bring the stem cell technique to the United States.

“I want to bring awareness to adenoid cystic carcinoma,” he said. “I want to bring awareness to stem cell research, stem cell transplant, so we can do this here in the states.”

Lyles will be in Sweden for a month recovering after the surgery next week. If you’d like to donate to an organization that raises funds for people facing transplants, click here.

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