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Willie Nelson and Stem Cell Therapy

24 Nov 2015
| Under COPD | Posted by | 42 Comments
Willie Nelson and Stem Cell Therapy

Willie Nelson and Stem Cell Therapy

Country music superstar Willie Nelson has been in the news recently for missing concerts to undergo stem cell therapy.

Nelson, 82, said in an interview with the Washington Post that he underwent stem cell therapy to improve his lungs before going on tour, via. Saving Country Music.

Willie Nelson on Tour

Nelson planned to begin his latest tour, the Django and Jimmy Tour, with fellow country music superstar Merle Haggard. The tour was scheduled to start on Oct. 15, but the first three shows were postponed due to Nelson undergoing a medical procedure. It was later revealed that Willie Nelson’s stem cell therapy was the reason, according to Taste of Country.

“It’s supposed to help the lungs,” Nelson said to the Washington Post about the treatment. “Over the years I’ve smoked a lot of cigarettes, and I’ve had emphysema and pneumonia four or five times, so my lungs were really screwed up, and I had heard that this stem-cell operation would be good for them. So I said, ‘Well, I’m gonna try it out.’”

Stem cells are the building blocks of life – essential to every organism. They self renew and replicate and can form any type of tissue in the body. At clinics such as the Lung Institute, autologous stem cells – adult stem cells – are used to treat pulmonary conditions such as emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Stem Cell Therapy for Lung Disease

At the Lung Institute, stem cells are extracted from the patient’s own body, processed and are then reintroduced into the body to promote healing. Since stem cells can continuously replicate, the progression of a disease can slow down following treatment and the patient’s quality of life can improve.

Nelson has been an influential figure in the country music world for the last 50 years. Since the 1960s, Nelson has been one of the most predominant figures in the “Outlaw Country” sub-genre of country music­–a response to the overly conservative restrictions to Nashville Sound at the time. Some of Nelson’s most notable albums include Shotgun Willie, Red Headed Stranger, and Stardust.

In addition to his music, Nelson was also a well known advocate of marijuana use. Though studies are finding marijuana to be less harmful than cigarette smoking, prolonged exposure can increase the risk of developing lung disease.

“There’s been a lot of talk about marijuana being harmless, but I think it’s a lot more dangerous to the lungs than most dope smokers realize,” said Nelson in his autobiography, with Bud Shrake. “Especially the strong marijuana that’s around these days. Each year it seems to get a little stronger. The wise course is to not abuse it. Your lungs are not really supposed to breathe anything but oxygen—pure, fresh air.”

If you or a loved one suffers from COPD, or any lung disease, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of stem cell treatment options. Contact us at (800) 729-3065 find out if you qualify for stem cell therapy.

42 Comments

  1. PB

    9 months ago

    Dear Diane,

    Thanks for your comment. Remember that it’s always a good idea to discuss any questions, concerns, and lifestyle modifications (such as wearing a CT mask, diet, exercise, and moving to another climate) with your doctor. Because your doctor knows you and your health the best, he or she would be able to best advise you about moving to a warmer climate. In the meantime, you can also check out our blog about CT masks for COPD.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  2. Diane Fure

    9 months ago

    I quit smoking in 1994, and in 2005 was hospitalized and diagnosed with COPD Asthma. I live in a cold climate in winter state, but am seriously considering moving south for the winter months at least.
    I am 71 years old female.

  3. Pingback: Lung Institute | Benefits of Practicing Gratitude

  4. Cameron Kennerly

    11 months ago

    Hello Shane,

    First off we’d like to thank you for your insight and feedback as well your time and consideration in reading this article. We wholeheartedly respect your position and input, even in opposition.

    The Lung Institute was created with the purpose of bettering quality of life in patients that suffer from COPD and other lung diseases. As long as degenerative respiratory illness has existed, there has been no cure. In most cases its diagnosis has been a life sentence to gradually declining health and well-being. However, using emerging technologies and new approaches to traditional medicine, the Lung Institute believes in the power of stem cell therapy to promote natural healing within the lungs. For many who suffer from COPD and other lung diseases, this is a chance to improve their lives, and we’re proud to be able to provide that opportunity for those that have long given up hope.

    We empathize with you in your struggles with emphysema and we appreciate you for sharing your story. If you ever have any questions regarding stem cell therapy or tips for living with lung disease in general, please reach out to us at (855) 313-1149 and we’d be happy to assist.

    Thanks for sharing Shane,

    -The Lung Institute

  5. Shane Murphy

    11 months ago

    Your ‘Lung Institute’ sounds more like a business with an aim to line your pockets rather than a treatment to improve the lives of sufferers. Lung function results can vary 10-20% on any given day due to no more than happenstance. These results are hardly a reason to either fork over cash from our own pockets and certainly a reason why any Medical Insurance Company would refuse to cover the cost, let alone the Government paying for it. I currently suffer with emphysema and have done so for the last 10 years. My lung function, on a bad day is at 10% and on a good day 13%- a 30% variation,.

  6. PB

    11 months ago

    Hi John,

    Thanks for your comment. Because COPD and other lung diseases affect everyone differently, treatment results can vary. However, we do offer booster treatments to help patients after their initial treatment. For more information on booster treatment options, please feel free to contact one of our well-qualified patient coordinators by calling (855) 313-1149.

    We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  7. john deangelo

    12 months ago

    Today with this type of treatment, can you do it annually and build on your result ,or is their a limit on positive results.

  8. Cameron Kennerly

    12 months ago

    Hello Terence,

    Great suggestion! We are currently collecting post treatment pulmonary function tests, and patient journals on ‘walk to fatigue’ and ‘time to recovery’ but any additional data points such as ‘personal best’ peak flow readings over time would be a valuable asset to our data collection. Thank you for your valuable comment.

    -The Lung Institute

  9. barbara staveley

    12 months ago

    Hi …Just wondering f anyone with Long Term Care insurance has ever put a claim in to be reimbursed for the treatment

  10. Cameron Kennerly

    12 months ago

    Hello Angelina,

    First we’d like to say that we appreciate your comment and thank you. However the costs for treatment do indeed vary based on the patient on a sliding scale determined by severity of the disease and prior health issues. We can assure you that the price point you mentioned is on the furthest side of that range compared to our average costs. In response to your question regarding insurance, although we greatly wish insurance would cover this procedure as well, due to it’s young history, insurance companies are currently holding off on approving the procedure in order to see if it’s cost effective for them.

    If you have any further questions regarding costs or the procedure itself please feel free to contact one of our qualified patient coordinators at (855) 313-1149. Their wealth of knowledge on the field should be helpful to you.

    Happy Holidays Angelina,

    The Lung Institute

  11. gayle

    12 months ago

    I have COPD, so insurance does not cover this? Unblievable insurance companies! Most people don’t have that kind of money to have this procedure…Well I’ve had this for a long time and I am 59 yrs old, and the last few years it has gotten a lot worse…. sincerly not breathing well!!

  12. Angelina Rice

    12 months ago

    I know it cost around $18,000 for the treatment and We the people can’t afford this, I wish That you all would consider taking Insurance!! It would help out so many people Including myself!!

  13. Terence A. Cole

    12 months ago

    Anyone can say they can breath better or that they use less O2, but those of us with emphezema are quite familiar with peak flow meters so why don’t you publish the peak flow meter increases after your procedures?

  14. Cameron Kennerly

    12 months ago

    Hello Joanne,

    Thank you for your comment. Although we stand with you in your desire for insurance to cover this form of treatment, unfortunately due to it being in the early stages of widespread implementation insurance companies are still waiting to see if the treatment is financially viable for them to cover. For questions on alternative methods of funding, we urge you to reach out to one of our well-qualified patient coordinators at (855) 313-1149. Their wealth of knowledge on the field should be helpful to you.

    Happy Holidays Joanne,

    The Lung Institute

  15. Cameron Kennerly

    12 months ago

    Hello William,

    First off we’d like to start off by thanking you for your comment. In response to your question, we of the Lung Institute believe it is always worth the effort to try to improve ones quality of life. For many of our patients who have difficulty walking up and down stairs, or are in constant need of oxygen, any increase to their quality of life as opposed to steady decline is a gift. We’ve treated many patients in their 70’s who all felt that their current quality of life wasn’t acceptable and opted to try an alternative form of medicine to get certain aspects of their lives back.

    Although currently we do not have a clinic in Maryland, our closet clinic to that area is in Pittsburgh. For more information on our treatment and procedures, please reach out to one of our qualified patient coordinators at (855) 313-1149 for more information.

    Thanks and we look forward to speaking with you William,

    The Lung Institute

  16. Cameron Kennerly

    12 months ago

    Hello George,

    First off we’d like to start by extending our deepest sympathies to you and your wife in her recent health struggles. Although unfortunately our treatment is not currently covered by insurance, many of our patients have been able to find alternative funding options for treatment. Furthermore although we cannot assure a renewed quality of life for the next 5-10 years, in a recent pilot study conducted internally, our patients saw an average 30% improvement to their quality of life within 3 months of treatment and a 20% average increase in lung function. If you are considering alternative treatment options for your wife, we urge you to contact one of our well-qualified patient coordinators at (855) 313-1149 to discuss your options.

    We can promise you that it’s a conversation worth having.

    -The Lung Institute

  17. Joanne Higdon

    12 months ago

    OK……when WILL ins cover this procedure?

  18. William Shisler

    12 months ago

    I’ve had COPD for about 5 years and I’m 77 my question is, is it worth my time to even look into this treatment? I live in Maryland and would like to know if you have a treatment center here.

  19. George F.

    12 months ago

    My wife has COPD. I have watched her steadily decline in her activities and ability to breath over the past few years. This dreaded disease for most has been caused by cigarette smokling. That industry should be made to pay the medical bills for those with this disease. The cost of taking this treatment at the lung institution is so expensive at this point for Medicare will not assist with these costs. I would like to have my wife receive these treatments knowing that these are not cures but may add another 5-10 years of quality life to her expected life span. I have heard that there is assistance for some out there. Would you publish this for us please?

  20. Joseph Jones

    12 months ago

    Willie Nelson has the money to cover the treatment but I do not. I’m happy for him and wish him the best. Love & GPBWY!!!!!!!

  21. Cameron Kennerly

    12 months ago

    Hello Pat,

    Thank you for your comment. Although Stem Cell Therapy has been around since the 1960’s, you are correct that it’s widespread application is still in the early stages of implementation. However, we of the Lung Institute firmly believe in the science of this field and continue to position ourselves as pioneers of this medicine. With this mission in mind, we are tirelessly working to broaden its recognition in an effort to bring this form of treatment to those who need it across the globe. In a recent pilot study conducted internally, our patients have seen a 30% increase to their quality of life and an average 20% increase to their pulmonary function. For those suffering from a steady decline of lung function and mobility, these gains are significant, in many cases allowing them to resume key aspects of their lives.

    If you have any other questions or concerns regarding the procedure, costs, or the science itself, one of our well-qualified patient coordinators would be happy to speak with you! Please give us a call at (855) 313-1149.

    Thanks and we look forward to speaking with you Pat,

    The Lung Institute

  22. Pat

    12 months ago

    I checked with my pulmonologist regarding stem cell therapy and was told that it hasn’t advanced enough to do any REAL good yet. There may be a slight improvement, but being so expensive, it isn’t worth it yet.

  23. PB

    12 months ago

    Dear Susan,

    Thank you for your comment and for sharing some of your story. Trying crowd funding to raise funds is an excellent idea. We’re also glad to hear that your daughter was able to take a tour of the Lung Institute in Arizona. For more information, remember that you can speak with one of our patient coordinators privately. They can provide you with detailed information on the procedure, its costs, and the general process. They are very knowledgeable on the subject and should be helpful to you. Please feel free to call us at (855) 313-1149.

    We wish you and your husband the best, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  24. Susan Fullmer

    12 months ago

    My husband was diagnoised with stage 4 emphezema alittle over two years ago. My family and I researched up on the info for the stemcell therapy for the lungs. Knowing that medicaid etc. would not pay for this procedure, reached out to the GOFUNDME Foundation. So for 3months were tried to reach a goal to have the bloodstem procedure done. Well we fell a little short. So we have been trying other venues to reach our goal. To close to give up now. My daughter lives in Arizona, so she went and took a tour of the new Lunginstitute clinic there, and was very impressed with it. So we are hopeing to make this happen for him after the New Year…

  25. PB

    1 year ago

    Hello Glynda,

    Thank you for your comment, and we’re sorry to hear that you’re having such a hard time. Unfortunately, at this time, insurance doesn’t pay for treatment. However, we encourage you to speak with one of our patient coordinators. They can provide you with detailed information on the procedure, its costs, and the general process. They are very knowledgeable on the subject should be helpful to you and your journey for better health. For more information, feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149.

    We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  26. glynda madison

    1 year ago

    my insurance would not pay for this so how much does it cost. I am ready to give up.

  27. PB

    1 year ago

    Hello Faye,

    Thank you for your question and for sharing some of your story. Unfortunately, at this time, Medicare, the VA, and other agencies don’t pay for treatment. However, we encourage you to speak with one of our patient coordinators. They can provide you with detailed information on the procedure, its costs, and the general process. Their wealth of knowledge on the subject should be helpful to you and your journey for better health. For more information, feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149.

    We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  28. Faye

    1 year ago

    Does anyone know if medicare or the VA will pay for this. My husband suffers with COPD and his life is so limited in what he can do.

  29. Cameron Kennerly

    1 year ago

    Hello Debbie,

    First off we’d like to start off by saying we appreciate you sharing your story with us and we’re sorry to hear about your IPF diagnosis. We do treat this disease but would need to know more about your specific condition and stage. For detailed information on the procedure, its costs, and the general process, you’ll want to speak with one of our well-qualified patient coordinators. Their wealth of knowledge on the subject should be helpful to you and your journey for better health. For more information please contact us at 1-855-313-1149.

    Thanks for your inquiry Debbie and we look forward to hearing from you,

    -The Lung Institute

  30. Cameron Kennerly

    1 year ago

    Hello Randy,

    First off we’d like to start off by saying we appreciate you sharing your story with us and we’re sorry to hear about your COPD diagnosis. For detailed information on the procedure, its costs, and the general process, you’ll want to speak with one of our well-qualified patient coordinators. Their wealth of knowledge on the subject should be helpful to you and your journey for better health. For more information please contact us at 1-855-313-1149.

    Thanks for your inquiry Randy and we look forward to hearing from you,

    -The Lung Institute

  31. Cameron Kennerly

    1 year ago

    Hello Rosemary,

    First off we’d like to start off by saying we appreciate you sharing your story with us and we’re sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. For detailed information on the procedure, its costs, and the general process, you’ll want to speak with one of our well-qualified patient coordinators. Their wealth of knowledge on the subject should be helpful to you and your journey for better health. For more information please contact us at 1-855-313-1149.

    Thanks for your inquiry Rosemary and we look forward to hearing from you,

    -The Lung Institute

  32. Cameron Kennerly

    1 year ago

    Hello Patricia,

    It’s good to hear from you and we’re sorry to hear about your diagnosis of COPD. For detailed information on the procedure, its costs, and the general process, you’ll want to speak with one of our well-qualified patient coordinators. Their wealth of knowledge on the subject should be helpful to you. For more information please contact us at 1-855-313-1149.

    Thanks for your inquiry Patricia and we look forward to hearing from you,

    -The Lung Institute

  33. Cameron Kennerly

    1 year ago

    Hello Delma,

    First off we’d like to say thank you for sharing your story and we wholeheartedly sympathize with your struggle. Although unfortunately, at this stage, insurance does not cover the procedure, many of our patients have been able to find the resources necessary to get treatment through the help and expertise of our patient coordinators. For more information on alternative funding please feel free to contact us at 1-855-313-1149.

    We look forward to hearing from you Delma,

    -The Lung Institute

  34. Randy Brindle

    1 year ago

    I am very interested in learning more about Stem cell therapy however, I live in North Carolina and have seen no venues in our area for such a thing….and I really can’t afford to travel at this time. I have had COPD for almost 10 years now. And would love to learn more.
    Thank you

  35. Rosemary Tanner

    1 year ago

    I have been diagnosed with COPD would like more information. Thank you!!

  36. Debbie Gatlin

    1 year ago

    I have IPF – Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and need a double lung transplant. Will stem cell therapy help this disease?

  37. Patricia obrien

    1 year ago

    I am a 67 year old female. I have COPD for about 7 years. I would like more information on the stem cell procedure.

  38. Delma McGlashan

    1 year ago

    I have severe copd but don’t have the money for stem cell.I am hoping that one day that insurance will start paying .I have very good insurance but doesn’t do me any good for this.

  39. PB

    1 year ago

    Hello, Jeffrey,

    Thank you for your comment. You can go here to learn more about possible treatment options. Please feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 for more information and to speak with a patient coordinator about your specific situation.

    We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  40. PB

    1 year ago

    Hi, Tammy,

    Thank you for your comment and for sharing some of your story. You can go here to read more about possible treatment options. If you would like more information or to speak with a patient coordinator about your specific situation, please feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149.

    We look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  41. Tammy Shackett

    1 year ago

    I am currently waiting for a double lung transplant. I have COPD (asthma, emphysema and bronchectasis). So I’d like more info please!

  42. Jeffrey Brune

    1 year ago

    Have been diagnosed with COPD and anything to help me with this has my undivided attention.

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* All treatments performed at Lung Institute utilize autologous stem cells, meaning those derived from a patient's own body. No fetal or embryonic stem cells are utilized in Lung Institute's procedures. Lung Institute aims to improve patients' quality of life and help them breathe easier through the use of autologous stem cell therapy. To learn more about how stem cells work for lung disease, click here.

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

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