Stoneham mom could be saved by stem cell transplant insurance refuses to cover

Stoneham mom could be saved by stem cell transplant insurance refuses to cover

STONEHAM, Mass. ( -- A Stoneham mom is battling a very unusual and potentially deadly autoimmune disease and doctor's say a stem cell transplant could save her.

Scleroderma makes it hard for Brianna Garcia to move or even breathe. Her doctors say a stem cell transplant, and a lot of support, could save her life.

Being healthy is crucial for Garcia because being a mom is her top priority.

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"She's my world!" she said of her daughter. "She's absolutely my world, I'd do anything for her."

So she's determined to be here for her 5-year-old Gracelyn. She says her daughter asked her husband if she would "go to heaven with grandma Jill?" And her husband promised that she would always be there for Gracelyn.

But Garcia is battling a debilitating disease that could, in fact, take her life. Dr. Ann Kiessling from the Bedford Stem Cell Research Foundation says a rare stem cell transplant could save Garcia.

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

She went on to say, "Her immune system is stimulating an excess of collagen that she has. If you can reset the immune system you can stop that process."

The procedure costs $150,000 and her insurance company will not cover the bill.

"I will not let an insurance company decide what my life is gonna be like," Garcia said. "It's just not gonna happen."

So she made a video and Facebook page where friends and family have raised more than $12,000 to help. And both moms and medical experts agree that it's well worth the fight. If you would like to donate, click here.

FOX 25 reached out to Garcia's insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, but the company told us that it could not comment on specific client cases.