Monday through Tuesday, February 18th through March 11th

Hello again,

For all of those still questioning or not quite convinced on the promising future of stem cell usage please watch this video: A 2-year-old showed fewer signs of cerebral palsy after an infusion of his own stem cells Whether using your own stem cells or those of others the extensive research and eventual clinical evidence will validate their use in medical treatments. For all of those having children please try and store the cord blood stem cells if you have the means. You can never know what obstacles and challenges life will hand you.

Tori blew her whistle today during her ST session with Meredyth and she did it several times and rather loudly each time. I actually thought it was Brendan playing with a whistle until Meredyth called me into see Tori try it. She clearly did the best she has ever done with this exercise and it also reminded me that I haven't posted an update on her in a while... Sorry about the dry spell but here I go now.

Cari has also been having very good PT sessions lately and Tori has 'loosened up' once again since the sessions are now twice per week as before. I am seeing a 90 degree bend in Tori's right leg and her left leg is improving as well. You can really see the difference when she is in her wheelchair and her legs are now bending at the knees instead of remaining straight as an arrow.

Jake continues to do great work with Tori and his latest teaching exercises involve watching and reading short stories on the computer. I haven't had a chance to witness this exercise but Tori pays very close attention to the reading (with words on each page) and the page turning. It can keep her attention for a full hour which is quite good for her.

So Tori and Maria keep busy with all of those daily activities each week. Tori's health has been great as well and she has had no illnesses since my last update. We still try and get her up and in her wheelchair each night and attempt to feed her the standard soft food like yogurt, applesauce, noodles, fruit smoothies,etc.. She can handle almost a full yogurt now with minimal or sometimes NO coughing. When focused she has good chewing motion, tongue control and most importantly swallowing.

Tori's sleep patterns have also held pretty constant though about once or maybe twice per week she will decide to stay up and watch movies. That is normally fine except when she wants some company to watch the movies with her and won't stop her moaning or 'calling' if you will until someone is in her room with her. Trying to sleep in the chair in her room is not nearly as comfortable as our bed of course and we don't really get the opportunity for long napping sessions during the day following a 'Tori movie madness' night.... Tori certainly does and she will attempt to sleep as much as possible during the day afterward while Maria does her best to keep her awake and get her back on a normal sleeping track.

So we've been keeping Tori pretty much isolated this winter to prevent illness but we were able to take her out to the Dance Attack Convention which just happened to be at Timpanogos High School which is less than a block from our home. How convenient!!! :) So Maria, Tori, Brendan and I went and watched Whitney and all of the other dancers perform their newly learned routines at the end of the convention. We were on the front row of the gymnasium with the dancers often ten feet in front of us. They also danced their routines about 50 girls at a time. Tori seemed to rally like being that close to them and paid utmost attention to the routines. When her close friends Kenzie, Mollee, Amber and Michelle danced their routines she focused in only on all of them. We remain convinced that she can recognize certain people who have been in her life. Afterwards all of her dance instructors and others who have known or know of her stopped to see her. But she she saved the best for last while taking pictures with McKenzie, Mollee and Amber. She was trying so hard to smile along with them and had us all cheering her on during her attempts and we finally got as close to a smile as possible so here are the beautiful girls McKenzie, Tori and Mollee showing off their pearly white teeth.

Thanks again everyone for all of the love and support given to Tori and our family,

The Schmanski's - Tim, Maria, Tori, Whitney and Brendan

Great Job Tori

Hi All,

We take our son to the Dominican Republic for stem cell treatment. I appreciated what you wrote about the stem cells today. Daniel is strong and the fact that he is still with us is sometimes unbelievable. The odds are against children with SMA but he is doing great. We, too, believe that he has had progress since his stem cell treatments. We are not for certain whether it is the cells, his PT, OT, aqua therapy or simply the experimental meds he is really doesn't matter. We have decided to keep doing everything we can as long as he is comfortable. Thank you for always being so honest about your feelings and experiences. It helps us to know that we are not alone!

Tim, if you get the chance can you email us about flying with Tori. I read everything from your trip but wondered if you know the airline policies. Delta seems to have different answers when we ask how we will fly with Daniel after he is 2. Some tell us that no matter what he will have to be straped in for take off instead of us holding him or him laying down. He cannot sit so we are unsure of how this is all going to work. Just wondering if you ran across any info in all of your research.



Hi from longtime lurker + photo status?

Hello Tim, Tori and all Schmanski family members and friends! :) This is Shari, a longtime lurker from the Bay Area in California. I'm not sure if I ever posted a comment here before, but I don't think so. I also misplaced my password for the longest time and was embarrassed about that, but now I'm finally posting! *blush* (I have ADHD so am more than a little bit scatter-brained, but am always well-meaning!)

I wanted you to know that I think about Tori very often, even though I don't know her and obviously have never met her. I'm not particularly religious but AM quite spiritual, and as such I do a "healing thoughts/energies" prayer type thing each week, and you can be sure that I include Tori in my thoughts each time! :) I don't know how much it helps, but it certainly doesn't do any harm!!

I also wanted to ask if I'm missing something in viewing the new photo Tim mentioned in the previous blog entry and this one. When I click what looks like the link to Tori and her friends smiling, no photo appears. :( I've tried it in several different web browsers, but it never works. If there *is* such a photo, I'd sure love to see it! :) Tori is a beautiful person, inside and out, and I will continue to hope and expect nothing but the best for her!

Shari in Cali.

Re: Hi from longtime lurker + photo status?

Thank you for the support Shari. We are currently working on the issue preventing viewing of that wonderful picture... It's not your browser. Hopefully we will have it addressed within a few more days so everyone can see it.

Thanks again,

cheer for the progress of

cheer for the progress of Tori!!!!!
Keep it up!!!!
Bless your family!!!