Multiple Sclerosis

04
Jun 2013
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Moving forward, in a big way

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The Canadian Stem Cell Foundation is on the move – in more ways than one.

After two years of operating out of the Stem Cell Network offices at the Ottawa Hospital, the Foundation is now in new quarters at 6 Gurdwara Road in South Ottawa and a satellite office on Spadina Road in the heart of Toronto.…

The Canadian Stem Cell Foundation is on the move – in more ways than one.

After two years of operating out of the Stem Cell Network offices at the Ottawa Hospital, the Foundation is now in new quarters at 6 Gurdwara Road in South Ottawa and a satellite office on Spadina Road in the heart of Toronto.

New project

The new space is necessary to accommodate exciting new projects the Foundation is rolling out First up is a completely redesigned website with a bold theme: Help Us, Help Stem Cells Help You. Its centrepiece attraction is Toward Treatments – patient-focused summaries of what stem cell researchers are doing in the battle against 14 currently incurable diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.  Prepared in partnership with the Stem Cell Network, each summary is as authoritative as it is accessible, written in reader-friendly language that makes complicated science easily comprehensible.

Stem Cell NewsDesk

We expect to have the site up and running in the summer and will be adding to it as we build for a major fall launch when another much-needed feature will be ready to go: Stem Cell NewsDesk will provide timely and realistic assessments of advances in research that the mainstream media are highlighting, and shine a light on important work that may be going overlooked.

The idea is to give Canadians a clear understanding of the difference between an incremental advance and a major accomplishment. We anticipate the NewDesk will be the go-to place for fair and balanced reportage of the progress stem cells science is making. Watch for it this fall.

A Canadian Strategy

But that is just a starting point.

The Foundation’s major undertaking over the next two years will be the crafting and implementation of the Canadian Stem Cell Strategy to guide the progress of research and development over the next 15 to 20 years. Wheels are already turning. The Foundation’s formidable Science Leadership Council is the framework for the strategy.  We are now recruiting some of the world’s leading thinkers in stem cell science and its application to join a blue-ribbon panel of international experts to provide the global context required to shape the strategy.  And we have begun consulting with Canada’s entrepreneurial and philanthropic leaders to get their input— and commitment – to help move the science safely and quickly forward.

The potential of stem cell science to treat diseases and ease suffering is immense.  We believe stem cell science is now at a tipping point – a time when potential solutions are on the verge of becoming real ones. The Canadian Stem Cell Foundation is moving forward to help make that happen.

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01
Mar 2013
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“glow” Magazine Shows How Stem Cells Heal

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Discussions about the healing power of stem cells are often focused on the future. We hear about the promise and potential yet to come.…

Discussions about the healing power of stem cells are often focused on the future. We hear about the promise and potential yet to come. And there’s no doubt that we are still in the early days in terms of the clinical applications of stem cells to treat or even cure disease. But it’s not all in the future.

Meet Jennifer Molson

The upcoming issue of Shoppers Drug Mart’s “glow” magazine shares a powerful story about how stem cells are helping people today.

The article focuses on Jennifer Molson who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1996. Jennifer was young, healthy, and active. She was working full time, going to college and volunteering with the Ottawa Police Youth Program

But all that was about to change. She started to experience numbness and tingling in her hands and was constantly tired. Soon after diagnosed with MS. After a short time her condition started to decline quickly and her diagnosis was changed to what’s called Secondary Progressive MS—an even more serious condition.

In 2001, Jennifer entered the Canadian MS Bone Marrow Transplant Study led by Drs. Mark Freedman and Harold Atkins at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the University of Ottawa. The study was funded by the MS Society with the goal of re-growing the immune systems of patients with MS using the patient’s own stem cells.

Do Stem Cell’s Heal?

Jennifer’s experience was not an easy one, nor was it without risks—of seizures, sterility, and even death. But over time, things started to change for her—gradually at first. She tells us that it took almost two years before she started to feel better.

In fact, the improvements that Jennifer experienced were unexpected. The goal of the study was to stop the progression of MS, but Jennifer’s results went further.

If you ran into Jennifer today, you probably wouldn’t know what she’s been through. She’s left her wheelchair behind and today she works full time, she can drive, and she’s completely independent (she even skis).

Jennifer Molson is an inspiration. She’s a reminder that while stem cell research still has a long way to go, it’s changing lives today. We encourage you to read more about Jennifer’s moving story in the upcoming issue of “glow” magazine.

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