The Stem Cell Institute clinic in Panama has changed thousands of lives, including those of famous actors and athletes. While these celebrities had access to some of the best medical care in the world, traditional medicine wasn’t able to meet their expectations. Through referral or independent research, they found their way to our clinic and received the treatment they desperately needed.

Mel Gibson and his father, Hutton, are two of the most famous stem cell treatment cases. Mel is so passionate about stem cell treatment that he went on Joe Rogan’s podcast to educate listeners about it. Life coach Tony Robbins experienced his own stem cell success story and wrote a book about his journey. Stem cell therapy has also helped professional athletes overcome sports injuries, including George Kittle and T.J. Dillashaw.

George Kittle Uses Stem Cell Therapy to Fight Sports Injuries

George Kittle is a professional football player. At 29, he was already feeling the effects that the sport was taking on his body. This includes:

  • Double Achilles tendinosis in both Achilles’ tendons
  • Getting hurt multiple times
  • Playing through injuries
  • Being placed on the injured reserve list for three games

“At the end of the day,” says Kittle, “they’re all painful and they all kind of stack up on top of each other. Once you get so many, there’s only so much you can tolerate.” This is what led him to try stem cell therapy in Panama. 

Since coming to Stem Cell Institute, Kittle feels like he’s starting every football season on the right foot. He comes to our facility after every season when his body is most broken down. This allows him to be at his best, fastest, and strongest when the new season starts in August. Stem cells give him the confidence to perform at the highest professional level.

“I feel like ever since I started my stem cell treatment in Panama at Stem Cell Institute, my body has recovered in a way that it has not recovered before. This has given me the confidence to go out and perform at the highest ability at the highest level in my sport. When you can do that, it can take care of my family for life. It will allow me to be my best self and, while I’m not saying I wouldn’t be here without stem cells, they definitely help me out so much in both the off-season and in-season. My general quality of life has gotten 100% better. Just start now.”

Famous Stem Cell Cases: Mel Gibson’s Father 

At the age of 92, actor and director Mel Gibson’s father, Hutton Gibson, was struggling with his health. “He was doing all the old man stuff,” his son explained. “His hip was killing him and he had multiple problems. But when the engine starts wearing out, you have to replace the carburetor and a few other things.”

Mel took his father to the Mayo Clinic thanks to its stellar reputation. The team there ran multiple tests and made a thorough list of Hutton’s health issues and stabilized them. This included problems with his prostate, kidneys, lungs, and even heart failure. 

“They did the orthodox medical procedures allowed in this country, but I still had reservations about him getting a hip replacement. He was old, and of course, just the recovery from a traumatic surgery at that age is a big deal. My brother had suggested looking into adult [post-natal] stem cells. I had heard about them but wasn’t so sure at first, but we eventually did and got them [Stem Cell Institute] on the phone.”

After speaking with Neil Riordan, PA, PhD, a family friend, who is a former doctor at the Mayo Clinic, put the Gibsons in touch with Stem Cell Institute Panama. Mel talked to Dr. Riordan, our chairman and founder, and Dr. Jorge Paz-Rodriguez, our medical director, over the phone. After more research into the procedure and further discussion with his friend, brother, and father, Mel decided to give stem cells a shot.

Gibson’s Stem Cell Treatment in Panama

Dr. Riordan was initially concerned about Gibson coming to Panama for stem cell therapy due to his poor health. Hutton needed medical clearance to travel before he could receive stem cells at our clinic. “He wasn’t in great shape,” said Dr. Riordan. “As I recall, he was in a wheelchair when he got there and wasn’t talking a lot. He was having a pretty rough time.”

We use IVs to administer stem cells to our patients so they may see a reduction in symptoms and an improved quality of life. As Mel described the lab, “I went into one of the clean rooms. They make you put on hats and gloves in these cold rooms where they’re dividing cells and it’s kind of miraculous.”

Well into his 90s, Gibson was at risk of multiple organ failures. We administered multiple IVs of Golden Cells™, which can modulate the immune system, decrease inflammation, and promote tissue regeneration. These specially selected stem cells secrete cytokines and growth factors for example. Cytokines have previously been studied for their therapeutic potential, and our practice has seen these unique proteins positively affect the immune system.  

When asked how his father responded, Mel Gibson said: 

“I can wax lyrical about that. He’s almost 100 years old and went from being in pretty bad shape to having a new lease on life. He got a big dose locally in his hip, which fixed all his inflammation and pain. He started walking again, his kidneys were good, and the prolapsed valves in his heart healed. His cognitive powers also improved along with his eyesight.”

Dr. Riordan Explains the Science Behind Stem Cells

Celebrities often make the headlines, but stem cell treatment has the potential to help many people. As a recognized expert in the field of applied stem cell therapy, Dr. Riordan has a lot to say about how it works. “The benefit of this intravenous (IV) method is that MSCs are able to circulate throughout your body,” he explains. 

MSCs, or mesenchymal stem cells, help to:

  • Modulate your immune system
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Stimulate regeneration

“The good thing about them is that they tend to home to areas where there is inflammation,” he continues. “They do a lot of things intravenously, but they can home to areas where there is inflammation.” It’s this expert understanding of the science behind stem cells that allows Dr. Riordan to partner with patients like Hutton Gibson, offering them what some consider to be the highest quality mesenchymal stem cells, known as Golden Cells™, in the world at our clinic in Panama.

“They reduce inflammation in the body because they upregulate the part of your immune system that controls the inflammatory process. Unlike what we used to think in the early days, these cells don’t become anything in your body. They home to areas that need repair, secrete things that help with the repairs, decrease the inflammation, and help out with the immune system.”

See Mel Gibson and Dr. Riordan’s interview with Joe Rogan!

Mel Gibson’s Personal Experience with Stem Cell Therapy

Describing his treatment at Stem Cell Institute, Mel said:

“I was 57 or 58 years old when I got stem cell treatment. I had torn labrums in both of my shoulders, arthritis, bone spurs, and rotator cuff issues. I went down and got 10 million cells in each shoulder. It didn’t even hurt. He put the needle in and I could feel it pierce the capsule and I could feel pressure. I couldn’t flap my arms for a couple of days, but after that, I didn’t have any more problems.”

Mel went through the procedure twice. “I went about 18 months but the symptoms of discomfort and pain started to come back.” Following his second treatment, it had been about three years without symptoms at the time of his interview on The Joe Rogan Experience.

Stem Cell Therapy Side Effects

Mel Gibson enjoyed the intravenous method for stem cells. He noted that it made him feel sleepy for a couple of days, “But then you feel pretty energetic.”

This is a pretty normal experience according to Dr. Riordan. “There’s a retraining that’s going on in the immune system because of the new cells,” he explains. “That involves the cytokines and other molecules that make you feel sick.” 

“Like when you get the flu, it’s not the flu virus that makes you feel sick, it’s your body’s immune reaction to the virus that’s throwing your body off and making you feel sick. It’s the same for when you’re activating parts of the immune system and they’re throwing off things, it can make you feel a little bit tired. A very small percentage of people experience flu-like symptoms for one day, but that’s usually the extent of the side effects that we see [during stem cell treatment].”

Other Possible Benefits of Stem Cell Treatment

Mel had also been suffering from a 50% occlusion in his right carotid at this time. “You don’t feel it happening, but all of sudden one of your carotids has shut down,” he said. He had looked into medications but wasn’t thrilled about their side effects. 

“I don’t have that stuff now,” he continues, “and I didn’t have anyone go in and remove it. I don’t know if I can attribute that to the cells but I got a bunch of them twice and that went away.”

Dr. Riordan attributes this to the natural human process of aging. “You have a certain number of these cells when you’re born. They age just like the rest of your body and perform more poorly as you age.” As you get older, it takes longer for your cells to double until eventually they don’t have the regenerative capacity to heal effectively.

What Mel Gibson Wants You To Know About Stem Cell Therapy

Mel Gibson has been amazed by what can be achieved with mesenchymal stem cells. “I just think it’s amazing,” he said while also voicing frustrations that there isn’t easier access in the United States. “We’re an advanced country and they should look a little harder at it,” he explains, “but it’s good that there are places where one can go to get help.”

Tony Robbins Discovers the Life Force of Stem Cells

Tony Robbins is well-known for helping his followers awaken the giant within. More recently, he learned a new way to do it for himself and became one of the most famous stem cell cases. 

Now he wants to help others unleash the power within themselves thanks to stem cell research. Like many others, he has seen how stem cells may increase your:

  • Energy
  • Strength
  • Vitality
  • Healthspan
  • Power

Robbins’ recent book, Life Force: How New Breakthroughs in Precision Medicine Can Transform the Quality of Your Life & Those You Love, recounts his journey into the world of regenerative medicine. He had been struggling with a torn rotator cuff and spinal stenosis—a narrowing of spaces between the spine that puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots.

His doctors told him that surgery was the only option, but the real clincher was the recovery time. Along with planning for surgery, Tony would have faced six months or more to recover from the procedure. Upon hearing this he exclaimed, “Can you imagine me slowing down for 6+ months?”

Read more about Tony Robbins’ journey into regenerative medicine!

What He Had To Say Above Receiving Stem Cell Therapy

Fortunately, Robbins soon learned about the healing benefits available at Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama. He chronicled his journey on Instagram, giving his followers a first-hand account after having received stem cell therapy at a world-class clinic.

Educating Others About the Power of Stem Cells

After his experience at our clinic, Tony Robbins knew he needed to get the word out about this amazing procedure. This led him to write Life Force: How New Breakthroughs in Precision Medicine Can Transform the Quality of Your Life & Those You Love. He partnered with X-Prize founder and Stem Cell Institute patient, Dr. Peter H. Diamandis and Dr. Robert Hariri to do this.

Together, they focused on how innovations in precision medicine can impact:

  • Illnesses
  • The effects of aging
  • Life-threatening diagnoses

Robbins describes his own entry into this world by saying:

“I might never have learned about the power of precision medicine or many of the regenerative breakthroughs at the heart of this book if not for a terrible accident that threatened to derail my entire way of life when I was 54… It turned out that I’d torn my rotator cuff… I met with three specialists who all advised surgery. But the recovery process would be slow and arduous, and I could be sidelined for six months or even longer if things didn’t go well.”

“You need the strongest, youngest, most powerful stem cells,” Dr. Hariri told him. You need 10-day-old stem cells that have the force of life in them.” It was conversations like these that led Robbins to Stem Cell Institute in Panama. Here, he experienced the disappearance of the pain that had lasted for 14 years. 

Tony Robbins experienced first-hand what stem cells can do for people. As one of the most famous stem cell cases, he’s shouting it from rooftops and bookshelves with the hope that it can improve the lives of others.

T.J. Dillashaw Re-Entered the Ring Thanks To Stem Cells

When he retired in 2022, T.J. Dillashaw left the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) as one of the most accomplished and decorated mixed martial artists in the promotion’s history. This included winning the UFC bantamweight championship twice and defending it on three separate occasions. 

He boasts victories against other acclaimed fighters such as:

  • Renan Barao
  • Cody Garbrandt
  • Joe Soto

But this doesn’t mean that there weren’t bumps along the way. Injuries are common in a sport like mixed martial arts (MMA), and some can end careers. Fortunately for Dillashaw, stem cell therapy helped extend his career, retire from the UFC with a record that others only dream of, and become one of the most famous stem cell cases.

Read our comprehensive blog about stem cells and sports injuries!

The Road to Panama

T.J. Dillashaw had struggled with injuries throughout his career and was looking for a solution. This eventually led him to learn about stem cells. “I felt that stem cells and healing my body from the inside out were the best way of recovering,” T.J. explained. From there, he narrowed his search to the best stem cell clinics in the world. Time after time, the same result kept appearing: Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama. 

Healing in More Ways Than One

“There are a lot of things that I wasn’t coming to get stem cell therapy for that I’ve benefited from,” says Dillashaw. Not only did he experience healing in his shoulders that enabled him to postpone two surgeries and win the UFC world championship, but he noted that he could also think more clearly and had more mental energy. These effects were almost immediate, allowing him to experience the world with a newfound sharpness. 

He experienced other physical improvements, as well. This included the eradication of arthritis in his hand and wrist from a previous stress fracture. One surprising benefit was that his scalp psoriasis disappeared shortly after treatment. 

“I had it for like six years. I thought changing my diet and all this stuff would help it out but I think what really helped it was coming down and getting stem cells. I didn’t notice for probably a couple of months, I think that’s when I figured it out. I had it really bad but a couple of months later it was completely gone.”

Are you interested in learning what stem cells can do for yourself? Apply today!

Numerous celebrities received treatment from Stem Cell Institute. This includes Ozzy Osbourne, former Sevendust guitarist Sonny Mayo has also received treatment at our clinic. Joe Rogan has sent his mom to Panama for a successful treatment, as well.

Mel Gibson and his father, Hutton Gibson, have come to us for stem cell treatment. Since his treatment, Mel has become a passionate advocate for stem cell therapy. Tony Robbins found relief for his shoulder pain at our clinic and co-authored a book explaining the power of precision medicine. With stem cell therapy, T.J. Dillashaw was able to continue fighting for some time. 

Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama is at the forefront of applied stem cell research. Since our inception in 2006, we have performed over 25,000 procedures, helping thousands of families across the United States and worldwide embrace the opportunity for a better life. Our medical team prioritizes the health and well-being of all our patients through top-notch stem cell treatment and care.

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