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Stem Cell Research Inspires Hope, Caution

February 28, 2005

Re "A desperate injection of stem cells and hope," Feb. 20: I read this article with tears streaming down my face and despair in my heart. I feel the same desperate hope as my Parkinson's disease worsens and my 16-year-old son sinks deeper into depression. He is getting treatment for his depression but knows that his mom only has so much time.

Elected officials are standing in the way of research that I don't have time to wait for. This sad story of a desperate attempt at life would not continue to happen if the bans on stem cell research were lifted. Hope is all I and my son and my devoted husband have left. "I will never give up" may be chiseled on my tombstone, but it will be the inspiration my son and husband have to go on.

Florence Woolery

Westlake Village

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People with ALS face some of the most serious decisions that a person can make, like trying unproven treatments advertised as halting or curing the disease. The ALS Assn. provides support services and resources to patients and families. We also are an authoritative source of information and guidance for those who grapple with the promise of unproven treatments, such as stem cell injections.

As a proponent of Proposition 71, we support and fund stem cell research based on rigorous peer review. Though stem cell research is promising for ALS, more scientific work is needed before we will know whether it will prove to be a safe and effective therapy.

The association is here to guide people making such urgent and profound decisions by arming them with information and analysis from leading scientists, clinicians and health policy experts. The potential of stem cell research for ALS can only be realized by good science, not unscrupulous profiteering.

Gary Leo

President and CEO

Fred Fisher

Executive Director

The ALS Assn.

Greater L.A. Chapter

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