Katie Sharify, a participant in the world’s first human embryonic stem cell trial, describes the accident that qualified her for this groundbreaking study, and her decision to participate.

After sustaining debilitating injuries to her spinal cord that paralyzed her from the chest down, Sharify was told that she was eligible to participate in a study, though it was unlikely to help her. Rather, the study would serve as the groundwork for a revolutionary treatment that could potentially help millions of others, but posed a risk to Sharify and the other participants.

Despite the possibility of adverse effects, Sharify chose to participate in the study, advising others who might find themselves in her situation to consider these risks, and accept that this therapy will likely not yield any personal benefit.

Katie Sharify is featured in Inevitable Collision, a new book that chronicles the patients, scientists and doctors involved with this  groundbreaking stem cell trial.

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