Wheelchair-Bound Activist Issues Challenge: 'Wanna check out my ass? Free the stem cells!'; Launches 'FreeTheStemCells.com' Effort

Distribution Source : U.S. Newswire

Date : Tuesday, September 13, 2005

To: National Desk

Contact: Sabrina Cohen, 305-538-2304, sabrina@freethestemcells.com, or John Hlinko, 202-744-6525, John@stempac.com, both for FreeTheStemCells.com

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Longtime stem cell activist Sabrina Cohen announced today the launch of www.FreeTheStemCells.com, a bold new effort to raise money and awareness on the importance of advancing embryonic stem cell research. Cohen, paralyzed and in a wheelchair since an accident at age 14, announced that the effort would be supported through the sale of a series of "Get Stemmed" t-shirts, including one she proudly has been sporting herself: "Wanna check out my ####? Free the stem cells!"

"After being confined to a wheelchair for 12 years, I'm on a mission to get off my ####," said Cohen. "Through FreeTheStemCells.com, and the 'Get Stemmed' shirt effort, not only will we raise money to fight back against the extremists who've been holding up stem cell research, we'll also tap into a broader range of supporters who have voices yet to be heard. This will give victims and supporters the chance to look tres chic in the process as well!"

(Sabrina is in New York Sept. 12-17, for fashion week, to sport her goods and network with designers, retailers and of course, the celebs! She's hopeful the media will catch on).

FreeTheStemCells.com features a series of "Get Stemmed" T- shirts, each geared towards a specific segment of the 128 million Americans who could potentially be helped by embryonic stem cell research. Some of the shirts include:

-- "I'm sick of ####" (for those with Diabetes)

-- "What about no-hair days?" (For those with cancer undergoing chemotherapy)

-- "Forget Alzheimer's"

(see http://www.FreeTheStemCells.com for a full list of the shirts)

Although the effort may be 'cheeky,' the goal is deadly serious: Proceeds from the sale of the shirts will go to fund a range of groups fighting back for stem cell research, and specifically for HR 810, the stem cell bill expected to be debated in the Senate this fall.

Cohen herself has a long history as a serious, impassioned fighter for stem cell research, and has appeared numerous times on television to make the case. She is the associate director of the Genetics Policy Institute, and the co-leader of StemPAC -- a national grassroots movement in support of stem cell research. And she makes no apologies for the bold, edgy approach of this new effort.

"We understand that many people would feel a lot more comfortable with us speaking softly, meekly, and playing the role of victims," said Cohen. "But we say -- enough is enough. Until the day when we can literally get off our ####, we'll be working as hard as we can -- to kick ####."

Others in the pro-cures (pro stem cell) movement were quick to praise Cohen's work and creativity.

"Sabrina is one of the most creative people in the stem cell movement, and it's no surprise that a flash of genius like this would come from her," said John Hlinko, founder of StemPAC. "However, while the phrases may be funny, the message to the rest of us is loud and clear -- if Sabrina and other patient advocates can fight back this hard, it's time for the rest of us who can get off our #### to join them, support them, and fight back for sensible stem cell research."

For more information, please see http://www.FreeTheStemCells.com.