Would you make one phone call if it might bring cure to paralysis? Right now, AB 190, the bill to restore funding to the Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury research Act, hangs in the balance. Please call one of the below, depending on your political party. You might make the difference between success and failure.
Assemblymember.Harkey@assembly.ca.gov Sharon.Gonzalves@asm.ca.gov (Vice Chair Harkey’s legislative director)
Roman and I will be in Sacramento this morning. Please everybody help us this last day– make a call to one or both of the above people. It will cost you five minutes, and it could make the difference between the bill being heard, or not. We believe we have the votes to win, but the chair must be convinced. If he takes a neutral or positive position, we will probably win. But if he opposes…
Below is another article on the subject just published in Huffington Post.
BTW, Roman and I visited Geron yesterday, and saw some of the research in action which the RR Act began–I wish anyone even considering voting against AB 190 could see what we saw, and listen to the scientists as they struggle towards cure.
NOT TOO LATE TO FIGHT FOR CURE: Ten Reasons to Support California
Spinal Cord Research
By Don C. Reed
This Friday, AB 190 (Wieckowski, D-Fremont) will be voted on in the
powerful Appropriations Committee. AB 190 would give renewed life to
the Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act, one of the most
effective research programs ever done.
Here are ten reasons to vote yes—plus 47 key groups and supporters—
and the people you can contact right now to make a difference.
1. With zero cost to taxpayers, AB 190 will fund California’s highly
successful Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act of 1999, named
after a paralyzed Californian.
2. AB 190 will impose a $3 penalty on all moving traffic violations.
As car crash is a major (46%) cause of spinal cord injury, violators
should help solve the problem they inflict on others.
4. Operated by the University of California system, the program
already has its core lab and headquarters set up at the Reeve-Irvine
Research Institute, UC Irvine.
5. California will continue to profit financially. A “money
magnet”, the Act attracted $64 million in new revenues from the
National Institutes of Health and other out-of-state sources.
6. The biomedical industry, mainstay of the California economy, also
benefits; biomed companies (like California Stem Cells, Inc.) spring
from successful scientists’ advances.
7. Although “Roman’s Law” funded the first use of President
Bush’s approved stem cell lines, leading to Geron’s historic human
trials, AB 190 concentrates primarily on the “everything else” that
is needed for cure: including ways to turn on the body’s natural
repair engines, and turn off the “inhibitors” of cure; to ease life-
threatening blood-pressure changes; diminish the “secondary injury”
that often doubles the damage to the spine; build biological
“bridges” for new nerves to grow across; to diminish chronic pain,
restore bowel and bladder control, and much more.
8. In 175 peer-reviewed publications, Roman’s law has advanced the
field of neurology, with “carry-over” impact on other conditions,
including ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Spinal Muscular Atrophy,
Traumatic Brain Injury, Multiple Sclerosis—indeed, one treatment
developed for Spinal Cord Injury may offer help for Irritable Bowel
9. Practical applications range from small to staggering: a new Petri
dish, (patent pending) which sorts cells by electrical potential; a
helmet-glove device to return the power of grip to frozen fingers;
robotic “boots” to lower rehabilitation costs; a way to harness
brainwaves, so a completely paralyzed person can operate a computer by
thought alone; even a new paralysis “model”, humanely designed so a
monkey would have just one finger paralyzed.
10. The problem AB 190 addresses is enormous. An estimated 5.6
million Americans suffer paralysis today: California has roughly
650,000 paralyzed individuals. The financial costs are staggering.
New paralysis sufferers face bills averaging $775,000 in the first
year alone, and are an immense and continual drain on Medi-Cal and
Medicare. The agony of individuals and the stress on their families
cannot be calculated.
For more information, contact: Jeff Barbosa:(916) 319-2020 Jeff.Barbosa@asm.ca.gov
Here are the members of the approps list, if you have time.
Geoff.firstname.lastname@example.org for chair Felipe Fuentes
Sharon.email@example.com for vice-chair Diane L. Harkey
Camille.firstname.lastname@example.org for Assembleman Steven Bradford
Sandy.email@example.com for Bob Blumenfeld
Mark.firstname.lastname@example.org for Mike Davis
Aaron.email@example.com for Mike Gatto
Darryl.firstname.lastname@example.org for Nora Campos
Tom.email@example.com for Assembly majority leader Charles Calderon
Matt.firstname.lastname@example.org for Donald P. Wagner
Felipe.email@example.com for Isadore Hall
Luis.firstname.lastname@example.org for Ricardo Lara
Danny.email@example.com for Chris Norby
Chris.firstname.lastname@example.org for Jim Nielsen
Kelly.email@example.com for Tim Donnely
Ania.firstname.lastname@example.org for Jose Solorio
Gibran.email@example.com for Jerry Hill
Tiffani.firstname.lastname@example.org for Holly Mitchell
AB 190 (Wieckowski, D-Fremont) SUPPORT LIST
From across America, support is strong for AB 190. Distinguished individuals and organizations include:
Paul Berg (Nobel Prize winner), Stanford University School of Medicine
Jeffrey A. Bluestone, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, University of California, San Francisco
Rayilyn Brown, Arizona Chapter National Parkinson Foundation
Nancy Brackett, University of Miami School of Medicine
Nina Brown, Founding Boardmember, Lorraine Chammah, President,
Texans for Advancement of Medical Research
California Healthcare Institute (CHI, representing more than 100 biomedical companies).
Susan Chandler, Treasurer, California Disability Rights Organization
Stemcyte, President Calvin Cole
California Chiropractic Association, Kassie Donoghue, DC, Government Affairs Chair
W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D., Miami Project to Cure Paralysis
John Dutra, (D-Fremont, retired) author, Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act of 1999
V. Reggie Edgerton, UCLA Professor, Brain Research Institute
Brooke Ellison,(Christopher Reeve’s last project was directing a movie about paralyzed Brooke)
Lucy Fisher and Doug Wick, Sony Pictures
Jeannie Fontana, CEO SALSa, Inc. Solutions for ALS
Eric Fingerhut, Chancellor, University System of Ohio
University of California,Karen French, Associate Director, Legislative Affair
Leeza Gibbons, Leeza’s Place (Alzheimer’s)
Lawrence Goldstein, Director, UCSD Stem Cell Program
Hans Keirstead, (researcher whose Geron work now in world’s first clinical trials stem cells), UC-Irvine Professor, Chair, Scientific Advisory Board, California Stem Cell, Inc.
Stephanie A. Kolakowsky-Hayner, Director of Rehab Research, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
Suzy Kim, Medical Director, SCI Acute Care, UCI Medical Center
Bob Klein, Founder,Proposition 71, the Californians for Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative
Dena Ladd, Executive Director, Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures
Sherry Lansing, Chair, Sherry Lansing Foundation
Academy Award Winner Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
Stem Cells Inc., Martin McGlynn, President & CEO
Karen Miner, Chair, Research for Cure
Ed Monuki, Associate Professor, UC Irvine
Rania Nasis, General Manager, CA Stem Cell, Inc.
Richard Patterson, M.D., Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
Renee A Reijo Pera, Director of Reproductive and Stem Cell Biology Division, Stanford University
Dan Perry, President, CEO, Alliance for Aging Research, Washington, DC
Claire Pomeroy, Chief Executive Officer, UC Davis Health Department
Brock Reeve, Executive Director, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, (Christopher Reeve’s brother)
Bill Remak, Chairman, California Hepatitis Task Force
Duane Roth, CEO, CONNECT
Rose Marie Salerno, VA Palo Alto Health Care System
Lori Sames, Executive Director, Hannah’s Hope Fund
Bernie Siegel, founder and chair, Stem Cell Action Coalition (70 groups), and Genetics Policy Institute
Marilyn Smith, Executive Director, Unite 2 Fight Paralysis
Michael Sofroniew, M.D., Professor, UCLA
Texans for Stem Cell Research, David L. Bales, Chairman
Jim Bennett, Spinal Cord Injury Research Foundation, Rutgers University, New Jersey
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, Peter T. Wilderotter, President & CEO
Shinya Yamanaka, Ph.D (inventor of induced Pluripotent Stem cells), Director, Center for iPS Cell Research and Applications, Kyoto University, Japan
Fanyi Zheng, Professor and Associate Director, Shanghai Stem Cell Institute, Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, China
Jerry Zucker (movie director, Ghost, Airplane, Naked Gun), Founding board member, CURESNOW