SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Californians are on track to pass Proposition 14, which would authorize $5.5 billion in state bonds to fund stem cell research, with $1.5 billion dedicated to research on Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, stroke, epilepsy, and similar diseases.
What You Need To Know
- This November, Californians had the option to approve a $5.5 billion bond to continue stem cell research
- Jake Javier said that if Proposition 14 were to pass, stem cell research would help more people like him
- Since Javier’s surgery, he’s been able to drive, attend college, and even hit the gym
- In California so far, the Associated Press reports that Proposition14 is currently passing by a slim margin of 51%
The money would include funding for the construction of research facilities. The bonds would be paid off over about 30 years at a total cost of about $7.8 billion.
According to the AP, yes on Prop 14 was leading with 51% as of Friday afternoon.
Jake Javier, a patient advocate for Proposition 14, said stem-cell treatment changed his life.
Ever since childhood, Javier dreamed of being a college athlete at Cal Poly. He played high school football and spent his free time working out and training for his future. At the age of 18, the high school senior was swimming with friends and dove awkwardly into the pool's shallow end, injuring his neck.
He recalled knowing immediately something was wrong.
"I had a shocking feeling go through my body and just completely numb," Javier remembers.
Javier was sent straight to emergency surgery to stabilize his neck. He then spent two weeks in the intensive care unit and was diagnosed with a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down.
His dreams of being an athlete vanished.
"It was a complete spinal brain injury where the cord was completely crushed, and generally from there, there's no recovery at all," Javier explained.
After his injury, Javier's only goal was to survive. Once he achieved survival, he began a long road to recovery. During this time, doctors gave him the chance to participate in a clinical trial for stem cell research.
"It was really there to help me gain recovery and function back to live my life normally," Javier said.
The treatment was a one-time procedure where stem cells were injected directly into his spinal cord.
"I ended up regaining movement, function, and muscles that I was not initially supposed to, and I'm really blessed because I don't think I'd be where I am today without the stem cell injection," Javier said.
Javier said if Proposition 14 were to pass, stem cell research would help more people like him.
"If we halt funding and we don't get approved for further funding, then all those trials that we have, all those people we could help stops," Javier said.
Since Javier's surgery, he has been able to drive, attend Cal Poly, and even hit the gym from time to time. The 22-year-old has pivoted his dreams of being a star athlete to majoring in biomedical engineering.
"Now I'm looking into studying and working in a field that relates to me, so another blessing in disguise," Javier said.
Javier is thankful for stem cell research and hopes it will save other Californians' in the future.
"We're right on the brink of so many discoveries and cures that were previously thought to be incurable," he said.
Only 76% of ballots have been counted in California. The Associated Press reports that Proposition 14 is currently passing by a slim margin of 51%.