Human Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy Restores Hope for Amanda

10.25.07–Hope, Faith, and Conviction

Hope, Faith, and Conviction

As I venture forth as one of the pioneer patients receiving human embryonic stem cell therapy I realize more and more that Dr. Geeta Shroff  is at the eye of a global controversial storm and I am at the dawn of an age of discovery that will forever change the world. 

Since landing on American soil two months ago, I have found myself spiraling into a whirlpool of emotion.  While sometimes spinning out of control, those intense emotions collided with an influx of stem cell information causing deep anxiety on all levels.  As scientists and researchers speak of worldwide collaboration in stem cell research, I have witnessed outright ridicule for those blasted as radicals experimenting with new therapies in other countries.  Egos abound and I am more perplexed.  I am left feeling disheartened and surprised by negative responses to what scientists deem people like me to be desperate patients in search of stem cell tourism and miraculous unsafe treatments abroad.  This world is cutthroat.  I have come to understand that objective or factual science is inherently influenced by varying degrees of subjectivity or individualized opinions.  Respected authorities seem to have adopted a dogmatic system of beliefs and will accept nothing but hard core scientific evidence, frowning upon those who have the courage and audacity to step out of the box and make quantum breakthroughs with clinical trials.. 

To quote Dr. Laurance Johnston, whom I hold in high esteem…“the scientific process is imbued at all levels – from the economic to the most basic observation – with subjectivity.  The more we ignore this fundamental truth and maintain an unswerving allegiance to putatively objective, but in reality systemically subjective, scientific process, the less effective we ultimately will be in developing real-world therapies for many disorders.”  (See Dr. Johnston’s article, Objective Science:  An Inherent Oxymoron —

My story isn’t enough.  The fact that I am living proof that Human Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy works doesn’t cut it in the scientific world.  I am learning that the scientific world seemingly won’t accept anecdotal patient testimonials as credible evidence for innovative technologies.  I can’t help but wonder what other revolutionary treatments are being rejected by scientific experts based on their subjective and somewhat limited visions of the world.  The naysayers seem to outweigh the optimists. 

A few weeks ago I attended The Stem Cell Summit, a global conference in Boston.  I discovered an elaborate jumble of ego and tension from professionals and curious neophytes like me from around the world—the religious pro-lifers who are against the whole concept of human embryonic stem cell therapy; those looking for cures squabbling amongst themselves; and those who were quick to demean experimental treatments abroad. 

I left this conference still wanting to be an advocate and legitimate voice for stem cell research in the United States, yet I can’t help but feel disillusioned by the insurmountable challenges that will need to be hurdled to see change take place.  The economical factors alone are daunting.  The average cost for a drug to be developed in the United States from crazy idea to having it available for sale is approximately 1.2 billion dollars.  With my lay person’s understanding, the FDA has extreme pressure imposed on them and have consequently gone into a very conservative mode.  Venture capitalists and Biotech companies want to back innovative ideas but only with projects that are supported by scientific data that is disclosed and not just clinical trials.  My guess is if human embryonic stem cell research and treatment is ever approved and made legal in this country, it will be decades before it is offered for clinical trials, let alone available on the market.

Dr. Geeta Shroff has filed for a patent with the US Patent Office for her technology on human embryonic stem cell therapy.  When her technology is made public, she will have more than 400 clinical trials conducted over five years to support her case.  I congratulate her for having the courage to take such a quantum leap for humanity…and maybe I will be one of her many patients standing on my own two feet, applauding in celebration of restored life and hope.

Human Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy is a mission of hope and will change the world.  I will continue to speak from my own experience witnessing my body awakening and coming to life after 15 ½ years of lifelessness and nothingness.  What I know for sure is that patient testimonials count!   The world can learn from those of us who are bold enough to take risks while keeping the faith and standing tall when the world is ostensibly against the odds.  I will aspire toward spreading a message of hope in the face of challenge.  It is our collective responsibility to be the manifestation of hope.  We must do what we can to demonstrate positive change in our world.  No vision is too big. 


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