Refugees, Not Tourists When It Comes to Treatment


Pioneer Founding member
This is an interesting excerpt from the Stem Cells China newsletter and all the more reason to support ICMS.

Refugees Confused for Tourists
Are you a medical tourist or a medical refugee?

Today most people in the world seeking stem cell treatments will have to travel outside of their home country. Receiving a simple transplant of umbilical cord blood stem cells today in the US requires payments of $100,000 and beyond to "participate" in clinical trials. A trip overseas to find hospitals which routinely deliver such treatments is not like a pleasure cruise. But it doesn't come with the additional baggage of funding researchers' projects.

Patients do not see themselves as the pleasure-seeking opportunists that terms like "medical tourist" suggest. They see themselves more like asylum seekers persecuted and ignored in their homelands. Whether it is a legal, clinical or financial blockade they face, access to medical treatment is denied. These patients see themselves as medical refugees and not medical tourists.


New member
So true

I agree with this 100% Barbara, thanks for bringing it up. We hardly would be "tourists" as travel is not something very convenient for people with COPD like me, and those with other diseases as well. How I wish I could travel to Nepsis like Danny O. I hope his treatment goes really well.
Trips to Tijuana.

Several of our trips to Tijuana, Mexico for stem cell therapy resembled more like a 30 hour non-stop mission than a tourist trip. A morning flight from the east coast to San Diego, after a long drive to the airport, followed by pick up at the airport, across the border for SCT, back across the border followed by dinner, often at the airport unfortunately, to catch the night owl flight back across the continent in time for work the next day. Or if we wanted to enjoy the ride with Kevork we would land in Long Beach, stop at the Mission Viejo clinic and drive down the coastline yet still fly back from San Diego.


Pioneer Founding member
Many times just crossing the border to come home can be a long, tedious wait as well. Your trips sound like a real vacation - NOT. I like the new term refugees and plan to use it.