In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on January 1, 2013 at 9:15 am
A year ago, Canadian Taylor Binns was slowly going blind after developing a rare and painful eye disorder that affected his corneas. Today, he’s driving, reading and living a normal life because of a revolutionary stem-cell treatment completed by a team of doctors at Toronto Western Hospital.
While on humanitarian work in Haiti, Binns developed intense eye pain and increasingly blurry vision. Over the next two years, Binns slowly went legally blind, with his doctors not being able to figure out the problem. He could no longer drive or read books. Doctors diagnosed him with a rare disease called corneal limbal stem cell deficiency, which was causing normal cells on Binns’ corneas to be replaced with scar tissue, leading to painful ulcers that clouded his vision. A variety of things can cause the condition, including chemical and thermal burns to the corneas, microbial infections and wearing daily contact lenses for too long without properly disinfecting them can all lead to the disease.
The doctors proposed a limbal stem cell transplant. The limbus is the border between the cornea and the whites of the eye, where the eye creates new epithelial cells. Since Binns’ limbus was damaged, doctors hoped that giving him healthy limbal cells from a donor would cause healthy new cells to grow over the surface. Binns needed a healthy match, which came from his sister. Healthy stem cells were taken from her eyes and stitched onto the surface of Binns’ eyes. Within a month, he was back to 20/40 vision. At his last visit, he had 20/20 vision in one eye and 20/40 in the other.
Researchers are working on using stem cells from deceased donors and using stem cells from the patient’s own eyes. This would require lab work to get the cells to multiply, but patients would be able to skip using anti-rejection drugs. This was the first time this treatment was done in Canada and there are several centers in the USA where this treatment is available.
In CELEBRITIES & STEM CELLS on August 9, 2010 at 12:31 am
“Michael J. Fox, who himself has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, is the champion for advancements in stem cell research on Capitol Hill.”
But why is there no celebrity activist for adult stem cells? -dg
Who’s the Biggest Celebrity Activist?
Wyclef Jean—Activist For Haiti
BIGGEST CELEB ACTIVIST OR NOT: Haitian born Wyclef is rumored to be making a run for President of the earthquake ravaged country, continuing the activism for his homeland that he’s championed for years.
- Wyclef Jean—Activist For HaitiBIGGEST CELEB ACTIVIST OR NOT: Haitian born Wyclef is rumored to be making a run for President of the earthquake ravaged country, continuing the activism for his homeland that he’s championed for years.
- Bono—Activist For EverythingBIGGEST CELEB ACTIVIST OR NOT: There isn’t a world leader that hasn’t had a photo op with Bono over some cause or another. But of all the celebrity do-gooders, he’s the most highly criticized as a hypocrite.
- Angelina Jolie—Activist For Human RightsBIGGEST CELEB ACTIVIST OR NOT: Besides what appears to be a personal mission to adopt a baby from every country in the world, Angelina Jolie travels and fights for human rights more than she makes movies.
- Al Gore—Activist For Environmental CausesBIGGEST CELEB ACTIVIST OR NOT: Would the world really know what global warming was, or care about it, if it wasn’t for former Vice President Al Gore? Probably not. Polar bears everywhere salute him.
- Ed Begley, Jr.—Activist For Environmental CausesBIGGEST CELEB ACTIVIST OR NOT: Begley, Jr. gives Al Gore a run for his eco-friendly money. And wins. Not only does the actor live by all the environmental rules, he even makes toast with bicycle power—Wonka-style.
- Kathy Griffin—Activist For Gay And Women’s RightsBIGGEST CELEB ACTIVIST OR NOT: Between campaigning against Don’t Ask Don’t Tell on behalf of gays and getting a public pelvic exam to promote women’s rights, Kathy is one busy, and outrageous, celebrity activist.
- Sean Penn—Activist For Katrina and Haiti SurvivorsBIGGEST CELEB ACTIVIST OR NOT: Penn takes a lot of heat but not only did he personally save stranded Katrina victims in a leaky boat, he’s been living in a tent in Haiti since the January earthquake. That’s commitment.
- Bob Geldof—Activist Against HungerBIGGEST CELEB ACTIVIST OR NOT: Rock star Bob Geldof was one of the pioneers of celebrity activism, organizing 1985’s worldwide Live Aid concert (and later Live8) to benefit the victims of famine in Ethiopia.
- Susan Sarandon—Political And Human Rights ActivistBIGGEST CELEB ACTIVIST OR NOT: The outspoken Oscar-winning actress and political activist has been forever freaking out award show producers, who worry about which controversial topic she’ll address in her speech.
- George Clooney—Activist Against Genocide In DarfurBIGGEST CELEB ACTIVIST OR NOT: The Television Academy is giving George Clooney the fourth ever Bob Hope Humanitarian Award next month for his activism against the genocide in Darfur among other causes.
Ever since celebrity activists John Lennon and Yoko Ono slid under the sheets and called the press for the Bed in for Peace, celebrities have been using the glare of the spotlight to illuminate a cause. After all, who else but the rich and famous can better spread the word to their adoring fans about their latest altruistic agenda?
Some seem to come from a pure place in leading the charge. Michael J. Fox, who himself has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, is the champion for advancements in stem cell research on Capitol Hill. While political activists like Jane Fonda have been vilified for maybe not conveying their celebrity activist message in the best way possible.
Enter Wyclef Jean. The Haitian born hip-hop star and producer has been working on behalf of the Haitian people for a long time. After Hurricane Jeanne hit the country in 2004 he established the often-controversial Yele Haiti Scholarship. But when a devastating earthquake ravaged his homeland earlier this year, he really kicked it into high gear for Haiti. Now comes word that Jean might even make a run for President of the country and rule the nation for five years.
Would this officially make him the biggest celebrity activist of all time?
via SODAHEAD SLIDESHOW: Who’s the Biggest Celebrity Activist?.
In HOPE AND INSPIRATION on May 21, 2010 at 1:47 pm
Haitian Farmers Commit to Burning Monsanto Hybrid Seeds
Tuesday 18 May 2010 – by: Beverly Bell, t r u t h o u t | Report
Jonas Deronzil from Verrettes has been farming since 1974. Like small producers throughout Haiti, his meager income from corn, rice and beans is threatened by new competition from Monsanto. (Photo: Beverly Bell)
“A new earthquake” is what peasant farmer leader Chavannes Jean-Baptiste of the Peasant Movement of Papay (MPP) called the news that Monsanto will be donating 60,000 seed sacks (475 tons) of hybrid corn seeds and vegetable seeds, some of them treated with highly toxic pesticides. The MPP has committed to burning Monsanto’s seeds, and has called for a march to protest the corporation’s presence in Haiti on June 4, for World Environment Day…
via t r u t h o u t | Haitian Farmers Commit to Burning Monsanto Hybrid Seeds.