I do not consider this political. It could have helped my mother. It could have a couple of my friends.
Discovery Could Change Stem Cell Bill Debate
U.S. Senate expected to consider bill soon; Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation works for passage
THE JOURNAL SCIENCE WILL REPORT THIS WEEK THAT A HARVARD RESEARCH TEAM HAS TURNED ORDINARY SKIN CELLS INTO WHAT APPEAR TO BE EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS. THE TECHNIQUE USES LABORATORY-GROWN HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS TO “REPROGRM” THE GENES IN SKINS CELLS, RETURNING THEM INTO EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS.
WITH THE U.S. SENATE EXPECTED TO TAKE UP A BILL TO ALLOW FEDERAL FUNDING OF EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH WHEN IT RETURNS TO SESSION NEXT MONTH, THE NEWS IS IMPORTANT ON A POLITICAL, AS WELL AS A SCIENTIFIC FRONT.
THE SAM SCHMIDT PARALYSIS FOUNDATION IS ONE OF THE MAJOR FORCES PROMOTING PASSAGE OF THE BILL CURRENTLY IN THE U.S. SENATE THAT WOULD INCREASE FEDERAL FUNDING OF STEM CELL RESEARCH. THE BILL IS EXPECTED TO COME UP WHEN THE SENATE ENDS ITS SUMMER RECESS. THE BILL EXTENDS FUNDING TO RESEARCH ON EMBRYONIC STEM CELL LINES THAT WERE NOT IN EXISTENCE IN 2001, WHEN AN EXECUTIVE ORDER LIMITING SUCH RESEARCH WAS ISSUED.
SAM SCHMIDT OF LAS VEGAS, NEV., IS FOUNDER OF THE SAM SCHMIDT PARALYSIS FOUNDATION (www.samschmidt.org), WHICH HELPS INDIVIDUALS OVERCOME SPINAL CORD INJURIES AND OTHER NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS BY FUNDING SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH, MEDICAL TREATMENT, REHABILITATION AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES. THIS RESEARCH ALSO BENEFITS STROKE VICTIMS AND PEOPLE DIAGNOSED WITH ALS, ALZHEIMER’S, AND PARKINSON’S DISEASES. SSPF ALSO ADDRESSES QUALITY OF LIFE ISSUES BENEFITTING PEOPLE WITH PARALYSIS AND OTHER DISABILITIES THROUGH ITS DAY AT THE RACES PROGRAMS AND WORKS TIRELESSLY PROMOTING ADVOCACY CONCERNS.
SCHMIDT, 41, WAS INJURED DURING A CRASH IN TESTING AT ORLANDO, FLA., IN JANUARY, 2000. A WINNING DRIVER ON THE IRL CIRCUIT, SCHMIDT FORMED SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS, WHICH FIELDED THE #70 ENTRY OF DRIVER RICHIE HEARN IN THIS YEAR’S INDIANAPOLIS 500. HE ALSO OWNS THREE FULL-TIME ENTRIES IN THE MENARDS INFINITI PRO SERIES, WHICH NEXT RUNS AT THE INFINEON RACEWAY, JUST NORTH OF SAN FRANCISCO, THIS WEEKEND. THE TEAM DOMINATED THE 2004 SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP WITH NINE POLES AND SIX VICTORIES.
THOUGHTS OF SAM SCHMIDT:
“This is certainly a major breakthrough scientifically and very exciting news, especially for the millions of us whom this pending bill could help so much. This proves how imperative it is to have this research in place and to have the federal funding and support for it.
“One of the most exciting areas of this particular discovery is it could enable us to move embryonic stem cell research from the debate halls and legislative arenas to the laboratories where it needs to be. The potential for me to walk again . . . for ALS and Parkinson’s to be cured . . . for cures to be found for a myriad of diseases and afflictions of young children . . . way too much is at stake to make this a political battle.
“You can be pro-life and support embryonic stem cell research. The discoveries being announced this week certainly prove that.
“We need this bill passed next month by the U.S. Senate, and we strongly encourage President Bush to reconsider and sign it into law. We don’t want him to look at the bill as much as we encourage him to look into the eyes of the millions of people whose lives will be greatly improved by this research. We would like him to look into the eyes of children who have diseases that could be cured, and to look into the eyes of the families who are watching loved ones suffer from Alzheimer’s or ALS or Parkinson’s.
“In order to fully advance the science, scientists need to expand both the number of stem cell lines available and the funds for this critical research. If the bill doesn’t pass it will be a tragedy – the news being announced this week is great evidence of that. There are technologies that are promising that are not being pursued by talented and ethical scientists because of ideological and financial constraints.
“The Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation is doing everything it can to help passage of this bill in the Senate. It is too important to millions of people for us to do anything less.”
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Williams Company of America, Inc. (704) 660-0796 www.williamscompany.com
Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation (317) 236-9999 www.samschmidt.org
SAM SCHMIDT IS AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS. PLEASE CONTACT RICHARD N. (CHIP) WILLIAMS AT (704) 660-0796.