Human Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy Restores Hope for Amanda

Speaking helps me meet my goal…to touch just “one” person!

In the past two weeks I have spoken to seven different audiences.  When I speak to an audience, my goal is to inspire and touch just one person so they might “hear” my words that emote from my most authentic self.  I met my goal.  I received this email from a female student after yesterday’s presentation at the Aspen High School: 

“I heard you speak at Aspen High School. Before I came to see your presentation, I was always afraid of getting hurt. I was fearful that if anything happened to me my life would be over. Many people I know have been injured and never recovered. But after seeing you speak, I learned that life is not over.  I have what I have and if I’m too fearful to do anything with it there is no point.  I wanted to let you know that all those people who send you emails about how wrong you are…..they are the ones who are wrong.  You are a motivation for people with or without disabilities.  You taught us how to live.”—Aspen High School Student


On April 11th I was invited by Dr. Graham Creasey to give a lecture at Stanford University in California.  Whoa, was I nervous to speak in front of a bunch of researchers and academics!  Dr. Creasey is the Chief Spinal Cord Injury doctor at the Veteran’s Hospital at Stanford. He made me feel very comfortable and simply asked me to report the observational changes in my body.  He compiled a brief PowerPoint presentation displaying data from my motor sensory test results.  I was introduced by Professor G. K. Steinberg from the Dept. of Neurosurgery, Stanford School of Medicine.  It was a tremendous honor to share my “stem cell” experience with the audience and I believe I was able to peak their interest.  I met my goal by touching that “one” person who sent me the following email after my presentation…


“Hi Amanda:  I was truly inspired by your lecture at Stanford last Friday.  If you remember, I was injured at C4 almost 2 years ago while body surfing.  My injury is incomplete and I did experience some return of movement and sensation, especially during the first year.  But over the past six months, my progress has slowed significantly.


Your lecture was very timely for me.  It has been a very difficult time for my wife, Connie, and me as we come to grips with the reality of my current situation.  And yes, I was beginning to lose hope.  But your lecture has given me a renewed sense of optimism.  I have rededicated myself to my therapy regime.  I have started to “network” with the leading-edge stem cell people at Stanford and other places.


I so much admire what you are doing.  I know from personal experience that it is not easy to open yourself up for the world to see.  Keep up the good work!  And know that I consider April 11, 2008 (the day I heard you speak) the beginning of my new awakening.


From one caterpillar to another,


Bob Lefkowits”


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