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Sikeston, MO

Flying to China for Stem Cell Therapy

Flying to China for Stem Cell Therapy
By: CJ Cassidy

SIKESTON, MO --Missouri voters must decide whether to vote yes or no on Amendment 2, November 7th. In a nutshell, Amendment 2 would give stem cell researchers the chance to conduct research allowed under federal law without interference from the state legislature.

Cloning is outlawed under the amendment.

In the meantime, a Sikeston man turns to doctors in China for a controversial treatment.

At the Cole home, it looks like your typical sunday dinner; friends and family gathering around, sharing laughs and news about each other. The big news however, centers around Terry Cole. He flies to China next weekend to undergo stem cell treatment.

He doesn't know if doctors will perform surgery or give him injections, but he does know, after 32 years of being in a wheelchair, he isn't giving up yet.

"You don't gripe about it, but you have a chance to get something better you take it," Cole says.

Cole was paralyzed after breaking his neck in a car crash and says hearing stories about other patients, gave him fresh hope.

You may remember Chris Hrabik of Cape Girardeau County. He's undergoing similar treatments in China, and as Hrabik prepares to return home, Cole's ready to take off.

Perhaps, surprisingly, however, Terry Cole opposes Missouri's proposed Amendment 2.

"They need to rewrite the bill. There's a lot of misconceptions in that bill," he says. "This is umbilical cord stem cells, he'll be using," Cole's therapists explain. They are among his closest friends.

"Terry can stand in a standing frame, for about 45 minutes to an hour. We're hopeful this will allow us to bring that to the next step, to where he can at least take some steps," Tracy Davied says.

"I just need your prayers," Cole says.

He doesn't expect miracles. If the treatments fail, he'll manage. After all, he's survived just fine this long, thanks to the love he has around him.

Terry Cole will be in China for about a month for his treatments.

Meanwhile Chris Hrabik, of Old Appleton will return home at the end of this month, and we'll catch up with him at that time.

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