Stem Cells

Massachusetts mom raises funds for potentially life-saving stem cell transplant

Scleroderma makes it hard for Brianna Garcia to move or even breathe.

Scleroderma makes it hard for Brianna Garcia to move or even breathe.  (

Friends and family are rallying around a Massachusetts mother in need of a life-saving stem cell transplant as she battles a rare autoimmune disease.

Brianna Garcia is suffering from Scleroderma, which makes it hard for her move or even breathe, reported.

Scleroderma is a chronic connective tissue disease classified as one of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases, and it has no known cure. Depending on the patient, symptoms of the disease can be very mild or life threatening. The Scleroderma Foundation estimates that 300,000 Americans suffer from the disease.  

Dr. Ann Kiessling of the Bedford Stem Cell Research Foundation said a stem cell transplant can help save Garcia.

“Her immune system is stimulating an excess of collagen that she has. If you can reset the immune system, you can stop that process,” Kiessling told My Fox Boston.

“This woman is very young, and she seems to have really severe systemic Scleroderma,” Kiessling said.

Garcia, mom to 5-year-old Gracelyn, turned to Facebook for help after her insurance company allegedly refused to cover the $150,000 stem cell procedure.

“I will not let an insurance company decide what my life is going to be like,” Garcia told “It’s just not going to happen.”

More than $12,000 has been raised for Garcia, who said she is determined to live for her daughter.

“She’s absolutely my world,” she said. “I’d do anything for her.”

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