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Sue Cifelli

Blind Girl Can See Thanks to Umbilical Cord-Based Adult Stem Cell Treatment - 0 views

    Blind Girl Can See Thanks to Umbilical Cord-Based Adult Stem Cell Treatment London, England ( -- Born two years ago with severe eye problems, Dakota Clarke could not even see well enough to recognize her own mother and father. But now the parents of the little girl, who is registered blind, say she can make out their faces for the first time after pioneering stem cell treatment. The couple gave up work to raise well over $40,000 to fly their daughter to China for the treatment, which remains at the experimental level in Britain -- because the nation has been too preoccupied with embryonic stem cells and human cloning. They returned home this week convinced that Dakota can now see colors, lights and objects around her as a result. They hope further therapy will give her a lifetime of sight. "It's nothing short of a miracle for us," said Mr Clarke, a former engineer. "She can see the world for the first time." In Dakota's case, cells were administered intravenously through her hairline and reportedly traveled towards her optic nerve, repairing the damaged area. The stem cells came from umbilical cords donated by Chinese mothers. Despite the obvious success, some doctors are talking down the results simply because the treatments aren't approved in England. Pro-life advocates say the results are yet another showing of how adult stem cells outpace their embryonic cousins both ethically and when used in treatments.
Sue Cifelli

Brazilian bishop says Church did not encourage missing priest to take balloon flight - 0 views

    Brazilian bishop says Church did not encourage missing priest to take balloon flight Rio de Janeiro, Apr 26, 2008 / 10:59 am (CNA).- Bishop Joao Alves Dos Santos of Paranagua said this week the Church warned Father Adelir de Carli, who disappeared last Sunday, against the dangers of taking a balloon flight. The 41 year-old priest was hoping to break a balloon flight record in order to raise money for a spiritual rest stop for truck drivers. Although he said he was prepared for the journey, he went missing a few hours after he began his flight and he has still not been found. Rescue efforts by the Brazilian Air Force were suspended on Thursday, but the priest's family is persisting in the search with the help of a rented twin engine plane. Bishop Dos Santos had joined in the now suspended search effort and said he is praying for the wellbeing of the priest. According to the bishop, the Church did not encourage Father De Carli to take the flight. "We respected his decision but we advised against the trip because it was dangerous," he said.
Sue Cifelli

Plight of Iraqi Refugees - 0 views

  • Plight of Iraqi refugees shapes nuns' visit to Middle East WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A family of six Iraqis lives in a unheated, single room in Beirut, Lebanon -- the adults unable to work legally, the teenager with diabetes unable to get medical care or attend school. The family -- an engineer, his wife and three children, and the wife's brother -- fled violence in their homeland two years after they received threats and their home was fired upon. Once out of the country, they quickly burned through their savings. For Mercy Sister Anne Curtis, the refugee family helped define what she described as abhorrent conditions for the millions of Iraqis who have fled their homeland, most taking up residence in Lebanon or Syria. She was one of a group of eight U.S. women religious from different communities who spent more than a week with Catholic Relief Services in mid-January looking into the problems and aid opportunities for Iraqi refugees in Syria and Lebanon. CRS is the U.S. bishops' overseas relief and development agency. "I'm still sorting out my impressions," Sister Curtis told Catholic News Service in a phone interview a few days after the delegation returned to the U.S. Jan. 20. During her first few days in the Middle East, she said she felt "an overwhelming sense of sorrow and shame about a U.S. war and the consequences; such massive human suffering."
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