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Georgians promote stem cell research

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February 7, 2007

Valdosta - Ron Grabb has been living with Parkinson's for seven years, a disease with no cure and that only gets worse with time. 

But he's determined to fight it.  "About five years ago, I decided to get involved and dedicate my life towards trying to find a cure for Parkinson's," Grabb says.

He believes the cure lies in Stem Cell research and soon teamed up with Steve Stice, one of Georgia's leading researchers.  "What five years or 10 years, what they lead to, nobody knows but they are going to lead to some break troughs in various diseases," says Steve Stice, Director of the Regenerative Bio-Science Center at the University of Georgia.

Embryonic research seems to be the most promising and ethical.  "Fertilization clinics freeze the extra embryos and if the parents decide they don't want it and they don't want to pay the $1,000 a year to freeze it, then the only thing they can do with the embryo right now is throw it down the stool," Grabb says.

Stice adds, "You can either let that material go down the drain, or use it to produce stem cells."

"We're taking the embryo and putting it to research that could heal people like me," says Grabb.

Along with the Parkinson's Action Network, they've helped get two bills in front of Congress that they hope will help lead to more embryonic research and funding.

And they are traveling the state, speaking to college students to keep them involved in the issue they believe will impact future generations.  "Once they have some milestones, that's where the future is going to be and these kids want to be the future so it's good because these kids are going to be at the edge of the future," Grabb says.

And hopefully lead to a medical break through for many incurable diseases.

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