By Don C. Reed

Yesterday afternoon, I went door to door at the Capitol, speaking to legislative aides and Assemblymembers of behalf of AB 1657, (D-Wieckowski), a bill to fund California’s Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act.

We are asking for a $1 dollar add-on to every traffic ticket (moving violations only, not parking) with the money to go toward paralysis cure research.

Even in these tough times, AB 1657 has passed two committees with strong majorities. But now we face the most difficult one, Appropriations, which killed our bill last year, without even a hearing… This year, there will be a hearing—but that is not enough, we want to win!

Here is what will happen. Wednesday, April 2, the Appropriations Committee will hear our bill. Two witnesses will speak in support, probably Roman and I, as well as the assemblyman, of course. Then the bill will automatically go into the “suspense” file, to be voted on privately.

During the next week or so, it is crucial that as many letters of support come in as possible.

If you have not sent in your hardcopy letter of support, please send it to:

Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski, State Capitol, P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0020

Also, please send an electronic copy to: Assemblymember.fuentes@asm.ca.gov… This is the chairman who will recommend (or now) our bill. Also, feel free to call his office, and leave a message of support for AB 1657.

If you have never done this before, it is easy. Just dial the number  (916-319-2039), and say you would like to express support for AB 1657, to fund the Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act.

The emails were great, in the last week over 300 came in!  But we need letterhead support….

Below is some information which might be helpful. Feel free to use any part of  it that may be useful.

Thanks so much!

Hugs to all,

Don and Roman Reed

The size of the problem? One statistic: there are 1.275 million Americans with a spinal cord injury—and a total 5.6 million paralyzed Americans* from all sources. Whether the paralysis was caused by fall, car crash, disease, or a football accident (as happened to my son), spinal cord injury research opens the door to cures for millions.

Some ask: why single out spinal cord injury for research, when there are so many other injuries resulting from car crash?  First, most other injuries will heal. Spinal cord injuries do not; spinal cord injury is a life sentence. But on a positive note, spinal cord injury cure research applies to many other conditions, such as traumatic brain injury, muscular dystrophy, stroke, spinal muscular atrophy, and many more.

Because the spine connects the brain and body, damage affects not only the nervous system, but also non-neurological activities—the ability to move and touch and feel, to control one’s bowels and bladder, even just to be able to breathe. In our every activity, the spine is crucial.

Small but mighty, “Roman’s Law” has worked wonderfully well. Administered by the University of California and the Reeve/Irvine Research Center at UC Irvine, the act gives small grants to scientists trying new ideas; where those succeed, larger amounts are easier to get from the National Institutes of Health and other sources.

Our breakthroughs range from practical to amazing: from cost-saving new methods of rehabilitation—to a nerve-regeneration therapy which began a company, California StemCells, Inc.—to a new form of a Petri dish which can sort cells by electrical potential.

The Roman Reed core laboratory, supervised by Dr. Oswald Steward, provides an established center of expertise, guidance and resources for new and veteran scientists. In addition to our 175 published scientific papers, a small library of what works (and what doesn’t), two patents pending, and several major scientific breakthroughs, we brought new money to California.  Over ten years, California’s $14 million investment attracted $64 million in matching grants and add-on funds—turning $14 million into $78 million– jobs and new revenue for California.

In Southern California, visit the Roman Reed Laboratory at UC Irvine. Or, electronically:

https://www.reeve.uci.edu/roman-reed-program.html  Download our 58-page progress report!


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