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.

Felipe Fuentes – Chair  Dem-39    (916) 319-2039
cc: Geoff.long@asm.ca.gov (Chair Fuentes legislative director

Diane L. Harkey – Vice Chair  Rep-73   (916) 319-2073
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.long@asm.ca.gov for chair Felipe Fuentes

Sharon.gonsalves@asm.ca.gov for vice-chair Diane L. Harkey

Camille.wagner@asm.ca.gov  for Assembleman Steven Bradford

Sandy.michioku@asm.ca.gov for Bob Blumenfeld

Mark.higgins@asm.ca.gov for Mike Davis

Aaron.moreno@asm.ca.gov for Mike Gatto

Darryl.lucien@asm.ca.gov  for Nora Campos

Tom.white@asm.ca.gov  for Assembly majority leader Charles Calderon

Matt.hedges@asm.ca.gov for Donald P. Wagner

Felipe.lopez@asm.ca.gov for Isadore Hall

Luis.sanchez@asm.ca.gov for Ricardo Lara

Danny.martinez@asm.ca.gov for Chris Norby

Chris.norden@asm.ca.gov for Jim Nielsen

Kelly.shaw@asm.ca.gov for Tim Donnely

Ania.garbien@asm.ca.gov for Jose Solorio

Gibran.maciel@asm.ca.gov for Jerry Hill

Tiffani.alvidrez@asm.ca.gov 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

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