Open Letter to The Reader

Hello Friends,

This is my very first posting on my very first blog. If you are reading this chances are you have received some news about my journey towards recovery from a C5-C6 spinal cord injury I sustained in April of 1994 at the age of 16. While it feels in many ways like only yesterday, it has been nineteen years and a "cure" for SCI has yet to be discovered. There are however doctors, scientists, patients and therapists the world over who are working tirelessly toward that goal. The most promising field has been that of stem cell research. While the United States languishes under the strain of partisan politics, right-wing disinformation, left-wing over-spending, the powerful pharmaceutical lobby and religious fundamentalism countries overseas are making amazing leaps forward that go unnoticed by the American media. Singapore, Dubai, Israel, Australia, Portugal, Belgium, Korea and China are conducting clinical trials, even out-patient treatment, with success on everything from injury-related nerve damage to cystic fibrosis to organ disease.

As one would expect, I have been following this progress as closely as possible. In the United States activists like Christopher Reeve, Michael J. Fox and surfer Jesse Billauer have worked tirelessly to raised awareness and encourage politicians to open the doors for treatments and research. Celebrities like Goldie Hawn, Minnie Driver, Jason Mraz and more have lent their voice to the cause. The real heroes are the therapists. Centers like Project Walk are pushing boundaries and building hope instead of heartbreak.

Last August an exciting video was posted on YouTube by SCI survivor Billy Orr. I suggest you take a moment to watch before reading further...

What you are watching is recorded footage taken in August 2012 of a man who lives in the Midwest (now a personal friend) and is over the age of 50. He sustained a C6 spinal cord injury 25 years ago and spent that time in a wheelchair. Two years ago he had his first injection of adult stem cells taken from the bone marrow in his hip. His second treatment was just a few days before this video was taken. I won't take the time to go into the significance of this, that is for another blog, but I will say that it was viewing this video that led to my own desire for the very same treatment. Since that time I have connected with Dr. Zanos Grekos of the Regenocyte Clinic in Bonita Springs, FL who conducted the treatment on Billy Orr. A controversial figure, which we'll discuss at length in the coming posts, Dr. Grekos is saving lives and fighting to make a better world.

This blog will document that relationship with Dr. Grekos, my personal struggles and triumphs, the process my family will go through, comments and support from friends, stem cell info in general and more as I go through the treatment process and the intense physical therapy over the next 18 months. I hope you will tune in, comment, share on your social networks and show your support. It is my hope that when it is all said and done it may provide compelling evidence for why we must change government policy towards stem cell treatment in this country.

Thanks for reading...