Hi. My name is Eric. This is my journey after being paralyzed in an off-road motorcycle accident on January 22, 2011. I suffered a fractured T12 resulting in a ASIA A Complete spinal cord injury. I have no sensation or motor function from my waist down and am in a wheelchair. My wife, two young daughters, family and friends have been supporting me in this journey.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bio-Fit Therapy
Today's Bio-Fit workout was a combination of challenge and fun.  After stretching and abs, Alexis had Eric trying to reach forward then pull himself back only with his abs.  Eric struggled with this exercise.  Then for the fun.  Eric was given a tennis racket and Alexis repetitively threw a soft ball at him to hit back.  Eric's goal was to keep balanced.  They then progressed to a rapid ball toss.  Eric and Alexis definitely looked like they were having fun as Alexis would quickly change where he was tossing the ball.  Eric's accuracy in responding was excellent, and for that matter, better than I could and I have no medical issues to compensate for.

Stem Cell Clinic Lab Tour
After the physical therapy, three sets of us were being taken to see the Stem Cell Clinics lab in another part of town.  Well, first we had to deal with some major transportation confusion where all of our drivers wanted to take us back to the hotels.  But we got that straightened out and headed to the lab.  At the lab we listened to a presentation that described the process for gathering the various forms of stem cells and the quality control process.  It is amazing stuff that is being done with the stem cells.  I asked if the clinic is collecting and collating data to present and they stated no.  That would require a formal clinic trial, specific standard criteria of applicants, approval from various agencies, and of course, lots of funding.  They are partnering with several US universities and hoping to have a formal clinical trial approved within a year.  Meanwhile, they are progressing with treating lots of different types of patients and refining their methods and analyzing the results of their patients treatment response.  For example, it is only within the last year that spinal cord injury patients started receiving bone marrow stem cell injections in addition to the umbilical cord injections.  Similarly, MS patients now receive stem cells from their own fat, extracted during a painful liposuction procedure.  After the presentation we were able to view through a window one of the labs where the donor blood is received.  After going through the receiving procedure, it is passed through a window into a clean room, which we could view through a video camera feed.  All of us appreciated that the Stem Cell Institute was willing to share the details of their lab and procedures and felt better educated after the tour. 

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