In the spirit of full disclosure, I am well acquainted with both Tory Williams, author of the just-released book Inevitable Collision: The Inspiring Story That Brought Stem Cell Research to Conservative America, and of course the author of the book's afterword, my son Roman Reed.
Why would a book not make money for its author? Tory Williams wants it that way. As she states in the book's press release:
100% of the book sales will go toward funding FDA-compliant stem cell research and development projects, with one-third going toward the Alabama Institute of Medicine (AIM).
Did you ever wonder what happens to the people who are the very first to try a new medical procedure? What risks do they take? What does their community think? Does their local church support them?
TJ Atchison was 21 years old when a car crash paralyzed him from the chest down.
Spinal-cord injuries like his have no cure.
But just days before his accident, the FDA had approved clinical trials of the embryonic-stem-cell research done by scientist Hans Keirstead, first funded by the Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act of 1999 and developed by Geron, Inc.
Five newly paralyzed men and women volunteered to receive cells that might change the world.
The first of these was TJ Atchison. Inevitable Collision is primarily his story, as well as the story of Katie Sharify, the fifth (and, to date, last) person in the world to receive embryonic-stem-cell therapy.
Inevitable Collision is also the story of the "formation and passing of the TJ Atchison Spinal Cord Injury Research Act, known as 'TJ's Law,'" which provides funding for spinal-cord-injury research in Alabama, and the Alabama Institute for Medicine (AIM), on whose board of directors Roman Reed serves.
What inspired Tory Williams to write a book that might well be "against the wishes of the conservative and religious South"?
"Through this book I hope to bridge the gap between science and religion and raise awareness of the importance and power of stem-cell research," said Williams. "This book is intended not only for patients who suffer from paralysis and diseases such as cancer and Parkinson's but for everyone affected by these afflictions, directly and indirectly."
Reasonably priced at $21.95 for the hardback and $9.99 for the e-book, Inevitable Collision will not make Tory Williams any money -- but her self-sacrificing efforts should be rewarded in the currency of societal change.
As publisher Mary Ann Liebert puts it:
This book will make a difference! Tory's personal journey of advocacy, perseverance, and commitment to the advancement of stem cell research and its application is an important and relevant testament to the stem cell conversation at large.... [It] will strongly resonate with the six million Americans suffering from paralysis, a quarter of which are the result of a spinal cord injury. ... [It's] an important read for the public, legislators, and patients and their families, as well as for researchers and members of the health care community....
Inevitable Collision can be purchased on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. For more information, visit inevitablecollision.com.
Publisher Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishes more than 80 authoritative science and biomedical journals, including Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), the industry's most widely read publication worldwide.