|Gala Event in St. Louis Highlights Progress in MS|
St. Louis Chapter of Hadassah
(l to r) Linda Jayaram, David Barish and St. Louis Chapter Hadassah President Jenny Schmitz are pictured at the Hadassah event.
The gala event, "Framing the Future Encore: A Love Story" took place on February 14, 2012 at the Jewish Community Center's Arts & Education Building and attracted more than 100 members of the St. Louis Chapter of Hadassah.
"Tonight we celebrate the promise of stem cell research at Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) in treating multiple sclerosis," local Hadassah President Jenny Schmitz said. "About 350,000 people in the United States have MS and suffer from various symptoms, that include limb weakness, muscle spasms and visual disturbances."
The program featured remarks by Dr. Barbara Green, Medical Director of the West County Multiple Sclerosis Center, on the challenges faced by people living with multiple sclerosis and related diseases. She also spoke about the advances at Hadassah and other facilities in providing treatments and progress towards a possible cure for MS. Nancy Falchuk, immediate Past President of Hadassah, provided an update on the state-of-the-art Sarah Wetsman Davidson Tower at Hadassah, a gift from Hadassah to the city of Jerusalem in honor of Hadassah's 100th anniversary.
A highlight of the evening was the inspiring and dramatic testimony of the advances in the use of stem cell replacement therapy by David Barish and his wife Linda Jayaram of Houston, TX. They spoke of their gratitude to Hadassah for its ground-breaking work. Jayaram had been unable to walk without a wheelchair and was in a profoundly weakened condition before she underwent stem cell replacement therapy at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. She is now able to walk unaided and has regained most of her previously lost muscle strength. It was stressed that Jayaram's recovery was by far the most dramatic of those who have received similar treatment.