Acts of Kindness: Research Named For Gwendolyn

People continue to amaze us in the many different and wonderful ways they honor Gwendolyn’s memory. And it means the world to us. As a grieving parent, it is everything to have our child remembered. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

Today, the Sacred Cells Research Partners renamed their patented research technology for Gwendolyn — GSNPC-1 or Gwendolyn Strong Neuron Progenitor Cells. We are humbled, to say the least. Even though we have not funded this specific research, the Sacred Cells Research Partners team has been moved by Gwendolyn’s life and wanted to honor her as this research works to create cures.

From CEO Roman Reed: “When I think of Gwendolyn my heart fills and inspires new levels of pioneering research. She is my hero.”

From Dr. Hans Keirstead: “GSNPC-1 will live on as a symbol of hope and an important armament in our fight against disease and injury.” 

We met Roman Reed and Dr. Hans Keirstead years ago when Gwendolyn was a toddler. Roman is a powerhouse advocate and our families clicked in our mutual go-get-em advocacy efforts. Roman has truly moved mountains and, because of him and his tireless work, we know spinal cord injury and other paralysis-causing conditions will have a treatment. He fell in love with Gwendolyn and, even though he faces his own adversities in living with spinal cord injury, Gwendolyn and other children with SMA became his battle cry. He has written about and spoken about Gwendolyn in his advocacy efforts and came to visit her when she was hospitalized at Stanford. He was devastated when she passed away and drove all through the night to be there for her funeral. 

At the time of that first meeting in 2009, Dr. Keirstead’s research was the only potential treatment for SMA and he was quickly making his way through the FDA process. We toured his lab at UC Irvine, where he later kept Gwendolyn’s photo for all his researchers to remember why they were working so hard. We jumped on board and launched our second fundraising campaign “Unite for the Cure”, raising $150,000 in just four months with the help of 22 other SMA families and hundreds of individual donors. His SMA research was put on hold by the FDA, but Dr. Keirstead and Roman Reed continued to push and have since developed a groundbreaking cell-based technology.

This technology is the basis for a cure for melanoma and has demonstrated utility in drug discovery, toxicity screening, and neurological research programs. In pilot testing, the cells have proven to effectively regenerate nerve growth sufficient to re-establish electrical impulses and motor function in animals with severed spinal cords. SCRP’s CSC 14 technology was also the basis of a very successful review for clinical use by England’s regulatory body for use in babies with spinal muscular atrophy. The launch of pre-clinical studies to further validate this GSNPC-1 technology is expected to begin at UC Irvine following completion of SCRP’s current capital raising efforts.

The renaming of their exceptional patented technologies with broad and potentially “game changing” potential in restorative therapies is such a thoughtful gesture to help Gwendolyn’s NEVER GIVE UP. legacy live on. Thank you, Roman, Hans, and all those involved in making this happen. We are truly honored and hope millions benefit from GSNPC-1.