We finally received some good news! SunLife has finally approved Chris' short term disability, so we no longer have to worry about how we are going to deal with that aspect of this procedure. We still do not have any word on a start date though. Dr. Atkins did indicate that we should get a call this week, so fingers crossed that it will be earlier rather than later.
On a separate note, a lot of people have asked us if there is anything they can do to help us. We have been so lucky to receive so many thoughtful packages, but one way that you can all really show your support is by lending your voice (or signature) to the Stem Cell Charter. Chris' procedure is supported by the MS Society, the Ottawa Hospital Research Foundation and the Stem Cell Foundation. The Stem Cell Foundation is a Canadian non-profit that works to improve research and awareness on stem cells. They currently have an online charter that is a collective call to action in support of stem cell research.
Chris and I have learned so much about stem cells and how they can not only help MS patients, but they may help defeat diseases such as, Alzheimer's, blood cancers, deafness, diabetes, blindness, heart failure, lung disease, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injuries and stroke.
What we find most important about the stem cell charter is that it advocates five key principles for stem cell research:
1) Responsibility to maintain the highest level of scientific quality, safety and ethical probity
2) Protection of citizens from harm and the safeguarding of the public trust and values
3) Intellectual Freedom to exchange ideas in the spirit of international collaboration
4) Transparency through the disclosure of results and of possible conflicts of interest
5) Integrity in the promotion and advancement of stem cell research and therapy for the betterment
of the welfare of all human beings
We have read so much about "stem cell tourism" around the world. These are private clinics set up in different countries that offer unlicensed treatments at high prices for some of the most debilitating diseases with desperate patients.
I do not know enough about any centre or treatment that are currently offered, and would not want to speak badly about any specific clinic, but there has been a lot of media attention about terrible results after patients have been lured with promises of cures. Unfortunately in this world there are a lot of people that are willing to take advantage of people and this is why I am such a strong supporter of this charter as it advocates for education, transparency and protection for patients.
Here is the link where you can see a quick little video and sign the charter (in the top left corner!)
You can also see my stem cell by typing in my email!