Friday, January 23, 2009

From the Reed Family: A Thankful Perspective on the Geron Trials

Don Reed of Fremont, Ca., is a nearly tireless and good-hearted advocate for human embryonic stem cell research. Today's announcement concerning the Geron clinical trials has special meaning for him and his family. We asked him for comment. Here is what he sent.

"Don, Roman, and the entire Reed family would like to congratulate Geron Corporation and the stem cell research community for today's wonderful news.

Years ago, California's Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act of 1999 funded Dr. Hans Keirstead's pioneering work, just approved for human trials by the FDA. These particular trials, to re-insulate nerves in the damaged spine, will involve only newly injured individuals. But they are forerunners of the day when paralysis will no longer be an automatic life sentence in a prison of immobility.

"Roman was asked by a reporter: what was the first thing he would do on the day when regenerative medicine allows him to walk again?

"He replied: 'I want to walk down the beach, hand in hand with my wife Terri, and toss a ball around with my children.'

"A small dream -- and an enormous one-- because if we can cure paralysis, the very symbol of that which has been called incurable, we can do anything.

"Congratulations to all, and may the New Year, and the new administration, live up to this magnificent beginning.

"Thank you,"

Don C. Reed

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