DAVID GRANOVSKY

Posts Tagged ‘michael j fox’

OPRAH, MICHAEL J FOX, DR OZ – STEM CELL DEBATE IS DEAD!

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on October 22, 2011 at 9:15 am

The debate ended 2.5 years ago but the battle still wages on! SO much has changed in 2.5 years  yet so much remains the same. 

The world has embraced the knowledge that adult stem cells can treat almost anything with safety and success but nobody in the USA knows about it because they are not available here and considered “unapproved by the FDA.”

Maybe we can enlist the “Occupy Wall Street” peeps to make some huge needed changes in our health care and available treatments.  – David

Originally from: https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/03/31/oprah-michael-j-fox-dr-mehmet-oz-the-stem-cell-debate-is-over/

The Stem Cell Debate Is Over! ...sort of...

The Wisdom of Oz

Visualize the surreal image of Oprah Winfrey, Michael J Fox and Dr. Mehmet Oz, wearing purple surgical gloves, sitting on stage around a human brain. Dr. Oz explains the absence of Nigro-Striatal Neurons in the brain of Parkinson’s patients while lifting out partially dissected chunks of brain and placing them into Michael’s shaking hand.

The camera zooms in as Dr. Oz steadies Michael’s hand in his. Dr. Oz weaves an intimidating, steel needle between Michael’s gloved and trembling fingers and illustrates the procedure for injecting stem cells into the brain by plunging it both into and through the quivering cerebellum. Michael’s legs spasm and contort and my stomach clenches empathetically with what I sense is Michael’s extreme discomfort, but is really a symptom of his condition.

And yet, NOTHING could have prepared me for what happened next as Dr. Oz, unbelievably and without prelude or warning, makes the stunning statement:
“I think, Oprah, the stem cell debate is dead.”

“The problem with embryonic stem cells is that embryonic stem cells come from embryos, like all of us are made from embryos, and those cells can become any cell in the body, but it’s very hard to control them and so they can become cancer.”

While astonished by his public announcement, I soon began to wonder: “why did Dr Oz only briefly allude to the potential of iPS cells and the proven benefits of adult stem cell treatments?” And then it became clear.

Dr Oz recognizes that the average person on an American street is led to believe, “a stem cell is an embryo is a stem cell”. Due to years of misleading media saturation, as far most Americans know, there are no other stem cells besides embryonic. Walk down the street and ask someone “what is an adult stem cell…what is an iPS cell”, and your inquiries will surely be met by blank stares.

So in retrospect, what Oz DID do, was truly…amazing.

Shunning the history of the love/hate affair Americans have with Embryonic stem cell research and ignoring the majority of US media over the past 5 years, the decrees of President Obama’s funding policies, the positions of the FDA and AMA and the fruitless decade long public pursuit of embryonic cures undertaken by Michael J Fox (with the benevolent and optimistic spirit of Christopher Reeve hovering over him) and before the bewildered eyes of Michael, Oprah and ~7.2 million viewers, Dr Mehmet Oz nailed the coffin shut on ESC treatments:
“I think, Oprah, the stem cell debate is dead.”

With this one simple statement on national TV, Dr Oz has taken the first step towards educating the American public about the current insurmountable limitations of embryonic stem cells and cracked open the door to the American collective mind-set regarding the potential of iPS cells and the reality that Repair stem cells (RSC) have been treating diseases around the world successfully for a decade. Despite the fact that thousands of American doctors refer to RSC as “snake oil,” more and more American patients are realizing that the US medical system is faltering, dated and just not working while the greatest medicine the world has ever seen is available just beyond the borders of their own country.

The seeds planted by Dr Oz will take a long time to find purchase in the collective American mind-set. There is too much embryonic momentum, media and drama, and America loves drama. Embryonic stem cells will not go away and like Romeo and Juliet, this love/hate affair may have to run its course for most, despite Dr Oz stealing the “distilled liquor” and Romeo’s poison and dagger in an attempt to avoid all of the deaths at the end of this play.

To read more about this grim fairy tale: https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/03/30/a-grim-fairy-tale-americas-doomed-love-affair-with-embryonic-stem-cell-research-intro-the-romance-is-an-illusion/

One step at a time we will climb this mountain and slowly open American eyes to improve their knowledge of treatment options so all can intelligently exercise the freedom of choice in their individual medical care. One inch at a time, Oz wisely created a pathway to an amazing new world of available medical treatments for what were previously believed to be incurable diseases and are in fact treating patients successfully around the world.

Dr Oz took this first step and it was a HUGE first step!

So from where I am sitting, I would like to express my heartfelt and sincerest appreciation for Dr Oz’s bravery, statements and actions. Thank you, Dr. Oz and thank you Oprah; for allowing this sage doctor the forum to break the walls restricting millions of Americans from the knowledge of the medical treatment options they so unquestionably deserve.

Here is the actual transcript based on my ears and fingers and a lot of patient rewinding:

“I think, Oprah, the stem cell debate is dead.”

“The problem with embryonic stem cells is that embryonic stem cells come from embryos, like all of us are made from embryos, and those cells can become any cell in the body, but it’s very hard to control them and so they can become cancer.”

“I can take a little bit of your skin, take those cells, get them to go back in time so they are like they were when you were first made, and then they will start to make that dopamine & I think those cells, because they won’t be as prone to cancer & because they’re your genes will be the ones that are ultimately used to cure Parkinsons.”

“I think we are single digit years away from making a big impact in the lives of Parkinson’s disease but also diabetics, heart disease, people who have had a lot of problems.”

To see the original video: http://www.oprah.com/media/20090319-tows-dr-oz-brain

Michael J. Fox Foundation Commits up to $5.75 Million in Funding for 2010 Critical Challenges… — NEW YORK, March 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —

In ALL ARTICLES on March 4, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Embryonic stem cell research and drugs!

…The Michael J Fox Foundation seems intent on investing time and money into everything in the name of a cure for Parkinson’s disease…everything except for what works!  Here is what works…adult stem cells and repair stem cells (they are the same thing).  For example:

  1. Muhammad Ali seeks ADULT STEM CELL treatment in Israel
  2. 60% PARKINSON’S PATIENTS IMPROVE AFTER REPAIR STEM CELL TREATMENT – PHYSICIANS CONFIRM RESULTS!

Michael J. Fox Foundation Commits up to $5.75 Million in Funding for 2010 Critical Challenges in Parkinson’s Disease

NEW YORK, March 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research announced up to $5.75 million in total funding available under its three 2010 Critical Challenges. Each year the Foundation tailors specific Challenges to advance one or more of its key research priorities in PD drug development: forging new strategies to define Parkinson’s disease and its progression, alter disease course, reduce symptoms and complications of treatment to increase quality of life, and develop pre-clinical and clinical research tools to broadly accelerate Parkinson’s research. Including the Critical Challenges announced today, the Foundation expects about $25 million of its total 2010 funding to drive research focused on these priorities.

via Michael J. Fox Foundation Commits up to $5.75 Million in Funding for 2010 Critical Challenges… — NEW YORK, March 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —.

60% PARKINSON’S PATIENTS IMPROVE AFTER REPAIR STEM CELL TREATMENT – PHYSICIANS CONFIRM RESULTS!

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 6, 2010 at 10:16 am

https://repairstemcell.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/muhammed_ali_michael_j_fox.jpg

60% PARKINSON’S PATIENTS IMPROVE AFTER REPAIR STEM CELL TREATMENT – PHYSICIANS CONFIRM RESULTS!


Majority of Parkinson’s Patients Improved After Stem Cell Treatment

February 04, 2010

A follow-up study of 50 Parkinson’s disease patients treated with autologous bone marrow stem cells. Overall, almost 60% improved following treatment.
—————————-
MICHAEL J FOX, FREDDIE ROACH & MUHAMMED ALI TAKE NOTE!!!
THESE RESULTS ARE FROM ADULT/REPAIR STEM CELLS,
NOT EMBRYONIC!!
—————————-
These results support the premise that patients with Parkinson’s disease can be treated safely and effectively with autologous stem cell therapy.  The most common improvements reported by patients were decreased rigidity (74%) and better walking/gait (over 80%).

“Two months after the stem cell therapy, I had a checkup for a hole in my eardrum that had been there for several years and it was healed up completely! As for the Parkinson’s symptoms, I am much stronger. I still fall occasionally but nothing compared to before therapy. People tell me that I am talking much better. I am blinking and smiling and I have more facial expression My ability to use utensils at mealtime is almost back to normal,” said Mr. Herman Engman, who was treated in January 2009.

More than 50% of the patients who improved reported decreased tremors while more than 60% experienced better speech. Approximately 60% of the patients surveyed had their improvement confirmed by their own physician.

“Now, I am walking like I was before I had Parkinson’s and my shaking is more under control I am sleeping longer at night and have also gained 10 pounds This is the first time in four years that I have been able to gain any weight,” stated Mr. John Andresen. Mr. Andresen was treated in July 2009.

SURVEY RESULTS

Parkinson’s – Autologous Stem Cell Therapy Results (N=50)

Introduction

Parkinson’s disease (also known as Parkinson disease or PD) is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that often impairs the sufferer’s motor skills, speech, and other functions.[1]

Parkinson’s disease belongs to a group of conditions called movement disorders. It is characterized by muscle rigidity, tremor, a slowing of physical movement (bradykinesia) and a loss of physical movement (akinesia) in extreme cases. The primary symptoms are the results of decreased stimulation of the motor cortex by the basal ganglia, normally caused by the insufficient formation and action of dopamine, which is produced in the dopaminergic neurons of the brain. Secondary symptoms may include high level cognitive dysfunction and subtle language problems. PD is both chronic and progressive.

Method

50 patients with Parkinson’s disease were treated with Autologous stem cells. Injection of the Stem Cells was performed by Lumbar Puncture. 200 ml of Bone Marrow was extracted out of the Iliaca crest and was concentrated for transplantation using gradient centrifugation. After treatment, the patients were evaluated using a post treatment survey. The results are presented below.

Results

Nearly 60% of patients treated reported an improvement in their condition after treatment.

Parkinson Overall Results

The average patient age was 65 years old.  Patients as young as 38 years old and as old as 85 years old were treated.  80% were female.  The average follow-up time was 7 months after treatment.  Most patients experienced improvements after a couple of months.

Parkinson Age Distribution

Approximately 60% of improved patients reported better speech, handwriting and ability to use utensils.  About 1/3 experienced improved ability to swallow and control saliva (drooling).

Parkinson Daily Living Improvements 1

3 out of 4 patients who improved experienced decreased rigidity and a little more than half reported decreased tremors.  Over 85% reported improved walking ability.  While greater than 80% experienced improved gait.

Parkinson Motor Function Improvements

60% of patients who reported improvements had them confirmed by their personal physician.

Parkinson Doctor Confirmations

Approximately 40% of all improved patients reduced or eliminated their use of Parkinson’s medications.

Parkinson Medication Change B

In a Patient’s Own Words

Johannes W. – 72 years old
“…I no longer have any pain and I am completely drug free…”

Aubra P. – 59 years old
“…After the stem cell treatment I would no longer freeze…”

Ted E. – 66 years old
“…My neurologist saw me during this time and confirmed that I looked like I was doing very well…”

Jon A. – 71 years old
“…Now, I am walking like I was before I had Parkinson’s…”

PARKINSON’S FLASHBACK!

Almost exactly a year ago, a study was published in The Open Stem Cell Journal, 2009, 1, 20-29 called Therapeutic Microinjection of Autologous Adult Human Neural Stem Cells and Differentiated Neurons for Parkinson’s Disease: Five-Year Post- Operative Outcome

The paper describes how a team consisting of members from

  • 1UCLA School of Medicine and Brain Research Institute, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA;
  • 2Movement Disorders Program, Los Angeles Neurosurgical Institute, Los Angeles, California, USA;
  • 3Neural Transplantation and Molecular Biology Laboratories, NeuroGeneration, Inc, Los Angeles, California, USA and
  • 4Feinberg School of Medicine, NorthwesternUniversity, Chicago, Illinois, USA

 

was able to isolate patient-derived (ADULT/REPAIR) neural stem cells, multiply them in vitro and ultimately differentiate them to produce mature neurons before they were reintroduced into the brain.  The team was able to inject the adult stem cells without the need for immunosuppressants. Unlike embryonic stem cells, adult stem cell injections don’t cause a patient’s immune system to reject the cells.

The adult stem cells were highly beneficial for the patient involved in the study.  “Of particular note are the striking results this study yielded — for the five years following the procedure the patient’s motor scales improved by over 80% for at least 36 months,” Levesque wrote.

Via https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/02/23/adult-stem-cell-use-proves-successful-once-again/

IF YOU HAVE PARKINSON’S AND WANT TO KNOW IF YOU ARE A CANDIDATE FOR STEM CELL TREATMENT, http://bit.ly/PATIENTQUESTIONNAIRE

The latest stories from “Adult Stem Cell Awareness”

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on September 8, 2009 at 1:09 pm
The latest stories from “Adult Stem Cell Awareness”

Still No Human Trials for ESCR!

from Adult Stem Cell Awareness by chelseaz

Earlier this year the drug developer Geron Corp. announced that it was given FDA approval to begin the first trial of an embryonic stem cell treatment in humans. But alas, the FDA reversed its decision last week:

Geron said the Food and Drug Administration is reviewing new data from studies of the therapy, called GRNOPC1, on animals. The company plans to start testing its product on humans this summer, but that testing will be delayed during the FDA’s review. Geron said it will work with the FDA, and did not estimate how long the review will take.

This is significant given that most people think that ESCs have already been used to treat human patients. Meanwhile, ethical stem cells continue to kick butt and outperform – in animals as well as many humans. Full speed ahead!

Mesenchymal Stem Cells May Repair Damaged Brain Cells

from Adult Stem Cell Awareness by chelseaz

brainSomeone should tell Michael J. Fox:

There is no known cure for neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. But new hope, in the form of stem cells created from the patient’s own bone marrow, can be found ― and literally seen ― in laboratories at Tel Aviv University.

Dr. Yoram Cohen of TAU’s School of Chemistry has recently proven the viability of these innovative stem cells, called mesenchymal stem cells, using in-vivo MRI. Dr. Cohen has been able to track their progress within the brain, and initial studies indicate they can identify unhealthy or damaged tissues, migrate to them, and potentially repair or halt cell degeneration. His findings have been reported in the journal Stem Cells.

“By monitoring the motion of these cells, you get information about how viable they are, and how they can benefit the tissue,” he explains. “We have been able to prove that these stem cells travel within the brain, and only travel where they are needed. They read the chemical signalling of the tissue, which indicate areas of stress. And then they go and try to repair the situation.”…

Dr. Cohen and his team of researchers took magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles and used them to label the stem cells they tested. When injected into the brain, they could then be identified as clear black dots on an MRI picture. The stem cells were then injected into the brain of an animal that had an experimental model of Huntington’s disease. These animals suffer from a similar neuropathology as the one seen in human Huntington’s patients, and therefore serve as research tool for the disease.

On MRI, it was possible to watch the stem cells migrating towards the diseased area of the brain. “Cells that go toward a certain position that needs to be rescued are the best indirect proof that they are live and viable,” explains Dr. Cohen. “If they can migrate towards the target, they are alive and can read chemical signalling.”…

Although there is a drawback to using this particular type of stem cell ― the higher degree of difficulty involved in rendering them “neuron-like” ― the benefits are numerous. “Bone marrow-derived MSCs bypass ethical and production complications,” says Dr. Cohen, “and in the long run, the cells are less likely to be rejected because they come from the patients themselves. This means you don’t need immunosuppressant therapy.”

Vatican Radio Discusses ASCR

from Adult Stem Cell Awareness by chelseaz

From Religious Intelligence:

Dr Settimio Grimaldi, an expert at the Institute of Neurobiology and Molecular Medicine in Rome, asked Vatican Radio listeners this week “Why we should complicate things by going and taking embryonic cells, with all the ethical questions that follow?”

The Vatican radio show discussed the latest developments in adult stem cell research which have revealed a method to repair a damaged heart by cultivating cardiac stem cells and re-injecting them to replace damaged tissue. Researchers revealed that the treatment could be available within three years following successful testing.

Dr. Grimaldi said: “The adult stem cell is already prepared to differentiate in the tissue we want to repair. And it is certainly more productive, less wasteful and less dangerous, beyond the ethical aspects, to work with adult stem cells instead of embryonic stem cells.”

Bone Marrow Stem Cell Treatment Saves Legs

from Adult Stem Cell Awareness by chelseaz

The results of a clinical trial to save volunteers’ leg from amputation by injecting stem cell concentrate to the limb affected by thrombo angitis obliterance (TAO) have been encouraging. The stem cells were taken from the patients’ bone marrow.

The clinical trial is being conducted on patients suffering from blocks in the artery of the leg. Sixty patients were enrolled in the trial, and all of them were smokers. Some had diabetes as well.

Thirty nine of the 44 patients who had already undergone the mandatory 6-month follow-up did not require amputation following stem cell injection to the affected legs. Follow-up of the remaining 16 patients is under way.

The last patient, enrolled on May 25, will complete his six-month follow up in November.

“We have got very good results,” said Dr. K.S. Vijayaragavan. “The legs of 89 per cent of the patients have been saved.” Dr. Vijayaragavan, Head of the Department of Vascular Surgery, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, is conducting the trial.

According to him, the failure to save the leg of five patients was because they continued to smoke even after stem cell injection. Immediate and complete cessation of smoking is the most basic and important requirement for saving the leg. Diabetes should also be under control.

Do Stem Cells Repair Damaged Brain Cells

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on August 25, 2009 at 9:15 am

Someone should tell Michael J. Fox:

There is no known cure for neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. But new hope, in the form of stem cells created from the patient’s own bone marrow, can be found ― and literally seen ― in laboratories at Tel Aviv University.

Dr. Yoram Cohen of TAU’s School of Chemistry has recently proven the viability of these innovative stem cells, called mesenchymal stem cells, using in-vivo MRI. Dr. Cohen has been able to track their progress within the brain, and initial studies indicate they can identify unhealthy or damaged tissues, migrate to them, and potentially repair or halt cell degeneration. His findings have been reported in the journal Stem Cells.

“By monitoring the motion of these cells, you get information about how viable they are, and how they can benefit the tissue,” he explains. “We have been able to prove that these stem cells travel within the brain, and only travel where they are needed. They read the chemical signalling of the tissue, which indicate areas of stress. And then they go and try to repair the situation.”…

Dr. Cohen and his team of researchers took magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles and used them to label the stem cells they tested. When injected into the brain, they could then be identified as clear black dots on an MRI picture. The stem cells were then injected into the brain of an animal that had an experimental model of Huntington’s disease. These animals suffer from a similar neuropathology as the one seen in human Huntington’s patients, and therefore serve as research tool for the disease.

On MRI, it was possible to watch the stem cells migrating towards the diseased area of the brain. “Cells that go toward a certain position that needs to be rescued are the best indirect proof that they are live and viable,” explains Dr. Cohen. “If they can migrate towards the target, they are alive and can read chemical signalling.”…

Although there is a drawback to using this particular type of stem cell ― the higher degree of difficulty involved in rendering them “neuron-like” ― the benefits are numerous. “Bone marrow-derived MSCs bypass ethical and production complications,” says Dr. Cohen, “and in the long run, the cells are less likely to be rejected because they come from the patients themselves. This means you don’t need immunosuppressant therapy.”

via http://adultstemcellawareness.wordpress.com/2009/08/24/mesenchymal-stem-cells-may-repair-damaged-brain-cells/

and http://www.news-medical.net/news/20090820/Mesenchymal-stem-cells-repair-human-brain.aspx

The Failure of Embryonics To Produce

In ALL ARTICLES on August 18, 2009 at 8:30 am
A Victimless crime? Hardly!

“…since few people can afford to travel outside the country for adult stem cell treatments, ESC-crazed America, the Bangladesh of stem cells, with its focus on “treatment useless” embryonic research, and 4-8 years behind the rest of the world on available adult stem cell treatments, has become exactly that, a death row prison cell for those suffering from so-called untreatable diseases.” –

via SCREW THE EMBRYOS, THEY’RE IRRELEVANT!
(HOW DO YOU LIKE LIVING ON DEATH ROW?)

—————————

Published: August 18, 2009

None of This Stuff Works

Embryonic Stem Cell Research Five Years after Proposition 71

When the campaign for California’s 2004 Proposition 71 was underway, Californians were inundated with claims that stem cells taken from embryos were the magical key to curing any number of diseases and medical conditions. At the time MSNBC reported: “The passage of the measure — designed to get around the Bush administration’s restrictions on the funding of such research — will likely put California at the forefront of the field and dwarfs all current stem cell projects in the United States, whether privately or publicly financed.”

Those who opposed the destruction of human embryos for research, including the Catholic Church, were derided as being “anti-science.” But as advances in the treatment of diseases and medical conditions using adult stem cells multiply daily and the technical limitations of embryonic stem cells remain, it appears that the Church’s morally correct position was scientifically correct. These advances, well known to scientists, have not been given the attention in the mainstream media, although they are having to sit up and take notice. On March 31, 2009 Dr. Mehmet Oz shocked Oprah Winfrey, guest Michael J. Fox , and Oprah’s audience, by stating categorically that “the stem cell debate is dead” and that the future lay with adult stem cells.

On April 14, 2009, the San Francisco Weekly published an article by Peter Jamison on the status of stem cell research in the state of California and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. This is the organization created by the state of California to allocate funds granted by Proposition 71. The scientists Jamison interviewed spoke about the limitations of embryonic stem cells. Warner Greene, director of the Gladstone Institute for Virology and Immunolgy in San Francisco said: “The challenge of harnessing pluripotent stem cells’ random genetic capabilities is what has prevented their medical applications, while projects involving less malleable adult stem cells move ahead. Greene, for his part, has staked out a clear position on the need to hold the former category of cells back, for now, from clinical trials. ‘There’s no way to hop over this basic biology,’ he said in an interview.”

Other scientists echo this view of embryonic stem cells: “There’s more that we don’t understand than we do,’ says Eric Rulifson, a researcher at the UCSF Diabetes Center. ‘None of this stuff works. There’s no stem cell therapy that works without causing harm, because we don’t understand what stem cells do.’” Jamison, speaking in lay terms, said “You wouldn’t know it from listening to Obama or the promises of the Prop. 71 campaign, but human embryonic stem cells are, when not tightly controlled, a substance akin to poison.”

So what is the Institute for Regenerative Medicine, created to further embryonic stem cell research, to do? According to Jamison, the institute is starting to focus on adult stem cells, because after five years and $3 billion the people of California want to see some results. And adult stem cells are where the results are. In March, Jamison attended the institute’s “Open Forum” at San Francisco’s Palace Hotel: “The star of the show was Tamara Alliston, a Ph.D. from UCSF’s Cartilage Repair and Regeneration Center. She researches methods for regenerating cartilage using mesenchymal stem cells, which are found in various adult body parts. Her work could one day provide significant relief to those suffering from arthritis — a degenerative condition, affecting five million Californians and 27 million Americans, about which shockingly little is known. Since the cells are harvested from consenting adults, her work is free of ethical debates and culture politics — in fact, it falls safely within the research parameters established in 2001 by Bush….It is difficult to overlook the irony of a situation in which state officials, seeking to deliver on the promises of a ballot initiative intended to overcome the Bush administration’s supposed limits on the advance of science, turn for their salvation to research Bush never restricted in the first place.”

The guiltiest snake-oil salesmen for embryonic stem cell research were never scientists. They were, and continue to be, members of the political class and the mainstream media. An example is the inexcusable claim made in January, 2009, by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi: “Scientists have been given an almost biblical power to cure through advances in embryonic stem cell research.” What could motivate such an irrational statement, utterly in conflict with the statements of the scientists themselves? In a November 20, 2007 article in First Things Joseph Bottum opined: “I have long suspected that science, in the context of the editorial page of the New York Times, was simply a stalking-horse for something else. In fact, for two something-elses: a chance to discredit America’s religious believers and an opportunity to put yet another hedge around the legalization of abortion. After all, if our very health depends on the death of embryos, and we live in a culture that routinely destroys early human life in the laboratory, no grounds could exist for objecting to abortion.”

via http://www.calcatholic.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?id=714aadd9-f036-4ee3-b74c-244b431867dd

The star who will never give up: ALWAYS LOOKING UP BY MICHAEL J. FOX | Mail Online

In ALL ARTICLES, CELEBRITIES & STEM CELLS on April 17, 2009 at 3:29 pm

The star who will never give up

ALWAYS LOOKING UP BY MICHAEL J. FOX (Ebury Press £18.99)

By Harry Ritchie, Last updated at 1:25 PM on 17th April 2009

As Michael J. Fox readily admits, he is only the second most famous Parkinson’s sufferer in the world, easily outshone by Muhammad Ali.

michael j fox always looking up

michael j fox always looking up

But the former Hollywood star has done more than even The Greatest to promote understanding of the condition and to help the search for a cure.

Always Looking Up is the sequel to Lucky Man, Fox’s mega-selling memoir that described his life as a star and then his battle with Parkinson’s after he was diagnosed at the age of 29 in 1991.

This update starts with Fox still a star actor, on TV rather than film, in the hit series Spin City. But the strain of hiding his symptoms from the camera is proving too much. On holiday in the Caribbean, Fox is hit by a moment of clarity – it’s time for him to retire.

After a 25-year career as one of Hollywood’s top-earning stars, and with such a terrible, exhausting and debilitating disease to cope with, Fox thoroughly deserved to take it easy for the rest of his life.

That’s exactly what he doesn’t do. Only a few months after his farewell episode of Spin City, he is hosting the launch of the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Nor is this to be some self-indulgent, self-seeking effort for charity. Fox and his foundation immediately began to raise serious sums of money – millions and millions of dollars.

It soon became the second biggest funder of research into Parkinson’s disease, after the U.S. government. To date, the foundation has raised $200 million.

Not only that, the foundation has used its financial clout to take enlightened control of the way Parkinson’s research is carried out in the U.S., so there is much more openness and accountability among the university labs and pharmaceutical companies.

This is, of course, absolutely marvelous, but it’s rubbish material for a book. It could have been a 278-page boast about the author’s magnificent contribution to mankind. But Fox avoids that fate.

First, because his campaign and his foundation take up only part of a book that is also about his work and his family.

Glory days: Back To The Future (1985) Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd

 Back To The Future

Second, because he lives in the U.S., where what would be the most unimpeachable project in less fundamentalist countries is, in fact, controversial and highly politicized.

The problem is that by far the best hope of finding a cure for Parkinson’s is by using embryonic stem cells – and that is anathema to the U.S.’s powerful and vocal religious Right-wing.

As Fox explains, there’s no logic to this. The religious Right is afraid that the men in white coats will be farming eggs, creating clones in test-tubes and killing them a week later – but the embryos that researchers use are two, four, or eight-cell clusters that already exist, the leftovers of in vitro fertilisation.

Very mindful of that religious Right-wing idea, George W. Bush imposed a freeze on stem-cell research. Then, when Congress voted in favour, he used his presidential veto to maintain his ban.

Fox’s politics are strictly single issue and he is happy to support pro-research politicians of any party. But the religious Right regarded him as a baby-killing Democrat-with-a-cause, especially after he appeared in campaign adverts for a pro-research Democratic candidate.

The trouble was that the adverts were brilliant – dramatically moving footage of Fox, still recognisable as the once boyish star of Back To The Future.

He was smartly dressed, making his endorsement while suffering his usual symptoms, jerking and twitching uncontrollably – symptoms that would, a few days later, have him approached in the street by a heroin dealer asking if he needed to score.

Michael J. Fox and wife Tracy Pollen, 2007

Michael J. Fox and wife Tracy Pollen

The appalling Right-wing talk-show host Rush Limbaugh accused Fox of exaggerating and even faking his symptoms. Then Limbaugh impersonated Fox on TV.

‘I was slack-jawed,’ says Fox. ‘He flapped his arms and wiggled his fingers, while rocking his body, rolling his shoulders and bobbing his head.’ There was going to be only one winner in the Limbaugh-Fox contest: Limbaugh was vilified; Fox became even more adored.

And, as he spends much of the book explaining – entertainingly enough and not at all mawkishly by Hollywood standards – Michael J. Fox can count the blessings of his wife and children and his work.

Plus, he can end the book celebrating the advent of Barack Obama, who immediately repealed Bush’s ban on stem-cell research. Like most sequels, this second book can’t repeat the impact of the first.

But it’s well-written, unfailingly cheery and warm-hearted and, in the pages where he describes his battle with Rush Limbaugh, truly gripping.

My only complaints are that his chapter reassuring us about his (actually vague and not at all strong) faith will seem completely redundant to non-American readers.

And though it’s a fairly understandable mistake for a North American writer to make, someone at Ebury Press really should have known there’s no such place in England as Lancastershire

via The star who will never give up: ALWAYS LOOKING UP BY MICHAEL J. FOX | Mail Online.

Oz, Oprah, Michael J Fox and Embryonic Stem Cell Research

In ALL ARTICLES, BEST OF THE BEST on April 3, 2009 at 6:41 pm

michael-j-fox-oprah-oz

The Wisdom of Oz

Visualize the surreal image of Oprah Winfrey, Michael J Fox and Dr. Mehmet Oz, wearing purple surgical gloves, sitting on stage around a human brain.  Dr. Oz explains the absence of Nigro-Striatal Neurons in the brain of Parkinson’s patients while lifting out partially dissected chunks of brain and placing them into Michael’s shaking hand.

The camera zooms in as Dr. Oz steadies Michael’s hand in his.  Dr. Oz weaves an intimidating, steel needle between Michael’s gloved and trembling fingers and illustrates the procedure for injecting stem cells into the brain by plunging it both into and through the quivering cerebellum.  Michael’s legs spasm and contort and my stomach clenches empathetically with what I sense is Michael’s extreme discomfort, but is really a symptom of his condition.

And yet, NOTHING could have prepared me for what happened next as Dr. Oz, unbelievably and without prelude or warning, makes the stunning statement:

“I think, Oprah, the stem cell debate is dead.”

“The problem with embryonic stem cells is that embryonic stem cells come from embryos, like all of us are made from embryos, and those cells can become any cell in the body, but it’s very hard to control them and so they can become cancer.”

While astonished by his public announcement, I soon began to wonder: “why did Dr Oz only briefly allude to the potential of iPS cells and the proven benefits of adult stem cell treatments?”  And then it became clear.

Dr Oz recognizes that the average person on an American street is led to believe, “a stem cell is an embryo is a stem cell”.  Due to years of misleading media saturation, as far most Americans know, there are no other stem cells besides embryonic.  Walk down the street and ask someone “what is an adult stem cell…what is an iPS cell”, and your inquiries will surely be met by blank stares.

So in retrospect, what Oz DID do, was truly…amazing.

Shunning the history of the love/hate affair Americans have with Embryonic stem cell research and ignoring the majority of US media over the past 5 years, the decrees of President Obama’s funding policies, the positions of the FDA and AMA and the fruitless decade long public pursuit of embryonic cures undertaken by Michael J Fox (with the benevolent and optimistic spirit of Christopher Reeve hovering over him) and before the bewildered eyes of Michael, Oprah and ~7.2 million viewers, Dr Mehmet Oz nailed the coffin shut on ESC treatments:

“I think, Oprah, the stem cell debate is dead.”

With this one simple statement on national TV, Dr Oz has taken the first step towards educating the American public about the current insurmountable limitations of embryonic stem cells and cracked open the door to the American collective mind-set regarding the potential of iPS cells and the reality that Repair stem cells (RSC) have been treating diseases around the world successfully for a decade.  Despite the fact that thousands of American doctors refer to RSC as “snake oil,” more and more American patients are realizing that the US medical system is faltering, dated and just not working while the greatest medicine the world has ever seen is available just beyond the borders of their own country.

The seeds planted by Dr Oz will take a long time to find purchase in the collective American mind-set.  There is too much embryonic momentum, media and drama, and America loves drama.  Embryonic stem cells will not go away and like Romeo and Juliet, this love/hate affair may have to run its course for most, despite Dr Oz stealing the “distilled liquor” and Romeo’s poison and dagger in an attempt to avoid all of the deaths at the end of this play.

To read more about this grim fairy tale: https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/03/30/a-grim-fairy-tale-americas-doomed-love-affair-with-embryonic-stem-cell-research-intro-the-romance-is-an-illusion/

One step at a time we will climb this mountain and slowly open American eyes to improve their knowledge of treatment options so all can intelligently exercise the freedom of choice in their individual medical care.  One inch at a time, Oz wisely created a pathway to an amazing new world of available medical treatments for what were previously believed to be incurable diseases and are in fact treating patients successfully around the world.

Dr Oz took this first step and it was a HUGE first step!

So from where I am sitting, I would like to express my heartfelt and sincerest appreciation for Dr Oz’s bravery, statements and actions.  Thank you, Dr. Oz and thank you Oprah; for allowing this sage doctor the forum to break the walls restricting millions of Americans from the knowledge of the medical treatment options they so unquestionably deserve.

To see the original video:

https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/03/31/oprah-michael-j-fox-dr-mehmet-oz-the-stem-cell-debate-is-over/

Oz slams the door on embryonics!

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on April 1, 2009 at 4:13 pm

baby_stepsOz slams the door on embryonics!

3 times I have fielded understandable questions from very wise people who want to know why Dr Oz did not go into detail about adult stem cells and iPS cells.  Here is my answer to them.

“you have to understand that you know more about stem cells than 99% of the people in the US.  to them , stem cells = embryos = babies.  as far as they know, there are no other stem cells.

walk down the street and ask someone what an adult stem cell is.  ask them what an iPS cell is.  you will only get blank stares.

what Oz did was truly amazing.  shunning history, media, obama’ s funding, the FDA and the AMA…not to mention the fruitless decade long pursuit of embryonic cures undertaken by the always cute michael j fox with the shadow of chris reeves hovering over him…

Oz slammed the door on embryonics.

one step at a time we will educate the masses and introduce them to the fact that adult stem cells have been treating diseases around the world successfully for a decade.  one step at a time…and this was a huge first step!

So from where I am sitting, I want to express a huge amount of appreciation for what he did.  Thank you Dr Oz!

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