"Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe a spirit vastly superior to that of man."
On May 27, 1995, forty-two year old Christopher Reeve was catapulted from his horse during an equestrian competition, cracking his first two vertebrae and damaging the delicate nerves that travel through the spine--the central nervous system.2 Having miraculously survived this accident, Reeve was, nevertheless, rendered completely and permanently paralyzed.3 Given the highly specialized structure of cells that compose the central nervous system, once damaged, they do not regenerate, and there is currently no treatment, with either drugs or surgery, that can replicate their critical role as carriers of neural messages.4 As a result, Reeve, along with a quarter of
On February 2, 2000, Michael J. Fox announced his decision to quit acting in order to devote his energy to finding a cure for Parkinson's, a disease that has been progressively destroying his central nervous system.6 Parkinson's affects over one million people in the United States, with a growing number of victims under the age of fifty.7 While the disease itself is not known to be fatal, approximately one-third of those affected will develop collateral illnesses such as senile dementia, blood poisoning, and stroke, which may be fatal.8 The disease acts upon the brain, destroying cells (or neurones) that produce the crucial chemical dopamine, and in the process, decimates the area that controls movement.9 Parkinson's is currently incurable, and the only treatment is dopamine-replacement drugs.10
On June 26, 2001, Mary Tyler Moore,11 who has suffered from juvenile diabetes for more than thirty years, described to the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs the hourly
On November 5, 1994, former President Ronald Reagan informed the American people that he had been diagnosed with