Human Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy Restores Hope for Amanda

Amanda’s Pursuit–Dec 3, 2009

I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything.”

William Carey

After almost eighteen years of paralysis and a journey across continents, my pursuit is one of spirit-mind-and-body transformation.  I’m continuing to defy the odds by getting stronger.  What will bring me the best quality of life possible and one step closer to walking?  My journey has become a fascinating exploration of capabilities I didn’t even know I had, which has changed the way I think about how mutable my body sense is, and how my conscious mind can transform my feeling body on a cellular level.  As I allow the stem cells to gestate in my body, I am planning for one more stem cell treatment in India in September 2010, along with exploring cutting-edge therapeutic modalities such as acquiring a Glidecycle (, researching innovative motor imagery and virtual reality devices to help rewire my brain, acupuncture, walking on the Alter-G anti-gravity treadmill, a disciplined yoga and meditation practice, and daily physical therapy.  I will never give up and aspire to keep living my journey in pursuit of the best quality of life possible. 

On Thanksgiving Day I rolled down the airplane’s jet-way and set my wheels back on to Aspen turf after another grueling flight home from India.  Jet-lag is a weird thing.  I read that it takes an hour each day of time difference to adjust the body’s circadian clock into a new time zone.  Or is it mind over matter?  This was my sixth sojourn to India, which is exactly 12 ½ hours ahead of Colorado Mountain time—and I still feel like I’ve been run over by a truck!  I’m experiencing daylight and darkness contrary to the rhythms my body has grown accustomed to in Delhi, even though this was a quick fourteen day trip.  The reason for my visit was two-fold:  to continue filming for the documentary and to attend my physical therapist’s wedding.  I did manage to do physical therapy every day during my brief stay, along with undergoing an MRI, which will hopefully provide some objective visible changes since receiving human embryonic stem cells in the past two years.  I have two neurosurgeons in the US who will do a comparative study of the current MRI and the images taken in year 2000.  I am curious to hear what they have to report.

Interestingly, I continue to show minute changes in my body… 

I am allowing time (eighteen months in between treatments) for my embryonic stem cells to gestate in my body.  While my muscle power has remained strong and stable, within the past couple of months I have noticed my new ability to distinguish between hot and cold temperatures in my legs.  The sensation is rudimentary and is felt from the inside out meaning I sense heat or cold deep within the tissue underneath my skin.  Describing sensations with a spinal cord injury is akin to trying to wrap words around how an alien might explain feelings:  tingles, vibrations, electric currents of energy, unusual pressure, an ability to detect gravity, creepy crawlies beneath my skin, and an accurate knowingness that registers in my brain as touch, hot, or cold—these are all valid and very real feelings that connect me to my lower limbs making me feel complete.  Additionally, my neuropathic pain levels have almost subsided entirely; when I exercise on the anti-gravity Alter-G treadmill my legs begin to ache (which is a beautiful thing!); and with my eyes closed I have a more precise ability to register light touch anywhere on my legs or feet. 

Love abounds…

Hinduism glorifies the romanticism of love like no other faith, which is why it seemed perfect that my trip to the Far East spilled love into my world from every meeting, conversation, adventure, and event, whether it was planned or serendipitous.  Love flourished in all forms:  from reuniting with my Mum on the other side of the world; to observing a caring father’s touch in helping his newly injured quadriplegic son regain his zest for life; to the innocent peaceful yogi’s quest for union with the divine; to visiting Mathura, Lord Krishna’s birthplace and paying homage to the God of Love (a heart throb of his times) and his beloved Radha; to rolling on the pristine marbled mosaics of the Taj Mahal—the greatest monument to Love ever known; to ending my two-week visit as an honorable guest dressed in a turquoise blue sari at Chavi’s wedding. 

The Radha-Krishna amour is possibly the greatest eternal love story ever told.  In my eyes as a hopeless romantic, I saw Chavi as the enchanted Radha—the goddess of love and fortune—adorned in a golden bejeweled deep-wine-colored Indian bridal dress.  She was breathtakingly beautiful and the epitome of elegance and innocence combined.  The Sanskrit fables from Hindu mythology appeal to the romantic in me and have stretched my imagination and restored my own faith to believe that my Soul Love is waiting to meet me just around the corner…he just hasn’t realized it yet. 

The beauty of this trip is that it was all captured on film.

Filmmaker Deborah Fryer ( accompanied me to India to continue documenting my journey, capturing interviews with new patients at Nu Tech Mediworld, and recording Delhi’s incorrigible idiosyncrasies that make that city like no place I’ve experienced.  Delhi is Delhi:  a five-thousand-year-old city with a crumbling infrastructure that struggles to live in modern-day terms blanketed in smog, never-ending construction zones, unbearable traffic, and dusty trees that almost yell for a drink and a bath.  Yet somehow, despite the adversities, that city has crept into my soul.  As I challenge myself as to why I have grown so fond of Delhi, it is the people and their innate selflessness and familial love for one another that speak loudly to my heart. 

As always, I’ve returned to Colorado with immense gratitude for where I live, for clear horizons and for the fresh mountain air that I inhale deeply into my lungs.  Personal space in India is a luxury and I am savoring that luxury right now surrounded by pristine Rocky Mountain beauty.  Tucker is of course by my side and we are back to our inseparable ways:  the-blonde-leading-the-blonde!

Namaste and Happy Holidays to All,

Amanda and Tucker


1 Comment»

  Sheri Gaynor wrote @

Amanda, I am so happy for you. You are a beautiful Goddess on an incredible heroine’s journey. You are a model of courage and compassion.

I would like to share an update with my readers, if you will give me permission to repost this. I am doing guest authors the month of December, during my December 30-day Bliss Challenge.

Let me know…

Love and Blessings to you,

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