Always Ask Questions

Claude Blankiet's Success Story

From revolutionizing the global denim industry and producing world-class wines at Blankiet Estate to his meticulous work restoring 18th century paintings, Claude Blankiet invests both mind and body in every undertaking. This is his story of how an unexpected treatment became nothing short of miraculous.


Claude has long subscribed to a personal mantra, “Always ask questions – do not become complacent, remain curious.” It applied to all areas of his life and satiated his desire to know and understand the world around him, including his physical health.


Through friends, Claude was introduced to Dr. Marko Bodor, Director of Research for Napa Medical Research Foundation. It was the beginning of a long relationship centered around the mutual desire to minimize pain, improve function and avoid surgery.


On this particular day, Claude was receiving platelet rich plasma (PRP) and bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) treatment for his spinal discs and facet joints. During preparation for the procedure, an idea came into Claude’s head. He held up a stiffly bent, very crooked middle finger and asked Dr. Bodor, “What can you do about this”?


The next morning Claude experienced his own personal miracle. His middle finger – the one that had essentially been frozen in place, caused immense frustration during the completion of everyday tasks around the vineyard, kept him from his studio and severely curtailed his ability to type – worked! He could open up his finger and bend it back down. It was a tremendous success.


According to Dr. Bodor, “Up until Claude asked, I really had not considered doing BMAC for small joints in the finger. A lot of work goes into harvesting the cells and preparing them, and it is an expensive treatment. Given that we were already doing this for his spine, it was easy to get a little extra for his finger.” Typically it takes at least 8 weeks for these treatments to yield results. Why they sometimes work so quickly is a mystery. “One of the reasons we have pain is to guide us how to optimize the internal environment for healing. When the healing environment is optimized, pain improves or goes away, sometimes even before the tissue has healed, as is true for instance when a fracture is immobilized in a cast” said Dr. Bodor.


Thanks to the treatments Dr. Bodor has administered over the years, Claude and his wife Katherine readily travel and hike around their aptly named Paradise Hills Vineyard. Amiable and worldly, Claude revels in life’s great pleasures and appreciates the beauty found in small details. He and Katherine have assembled an extensive collection of antique paintings, which led Claude to develop a passion for restoring damaged, forgotten old paintings. With his greatly improved middle finger, he can happily head back to his studio to continue the painstaking work of bringing a canvas back to life.


Blankiet knows well the feeling of relief that accompanies a successful medical procedure, one that allows you to keep moving, continue being active and able to fully enjoy your life. He will continue to stay inquisitive – to learn about cutting edge medical procedures, to constantly analyze and make adjustments to the management of the vineyards and production of wines at Blankiet Estate, and to ask himself what kind of painting might be waiting beneath the surface.


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 Reduce Pain. Increase Mobility & Function. Improve Quality of Life.

All the research conducted through the Napa Medical Research Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is fully funded through generous donations received from individuals and family foundations.

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