Friday, June 20th through Wednesday, July 30th

Good evening,

I'm well past due for another update so here we go!!

First off on the stem cell research front there have been a slew of new and promising discoveries and here are just a few that caught my interest:

Adult Stem Cells Activated In Mammalian Brain

Spinal Cord Stem Cells Could Be Basis Of Nonsurgical Treatment For Spinal-cord Injuries

Adult Stem Cells Reprogrammed In Their Natural Environment

Understanding How Neurons Communicate May Help Treat Brain Disorders

I am still very convinced the use of stem cells will eventually revolutionize the practice of medicine as we know it today. It's only a matter of time.

Tori's summer as well as ours seems to be going by very quickly but all of us have been enjoying it. Tori is spending as much time as possible outside on our deck primarily in the afternoon when there is shade. She has a great view of the mountains and of all the other activities going on in the backyard.

Tori's PT and ST sessions with Cari, Meredyth and now Christi continue each and every week. Tori has remained healthy with basically no illnesses now for many months. Her height is now estimated at 5'9" or 5'10" and her weight has been steady around 125lbs. She is certainly much harder to move around now so we are investigating means to help with that issue. Presently her muscle tone is quite high as her quarterly botox and phenol injections are two weeks away. So she is a bit uncomfortable at times and frequently gets her hand and arm in and around her mouth and over her head as well when she is agitated. We will just have deal with this phase for another two weeks until the injections are completed.

We are still working on the ever elusive form of consistent communication. Since she has great control of her right thumb in lifting it and lowering it we are going to stick on that as THE method and try to get Tori to consistently and effectively use it. Right thumb up = Yes, thumb down = No. We have also started using a 'thumb button' during her ST sessions. This button has velcro straps that wrap around her hand and position the button directly between her thumb and forefinger for easy pressing using her thumb. The button can be connected to numerous devices including a computer where Tori can turn pages or switch screens with a button press. It is still a painfully slow process to train Tori to use it but we believe it has potential.

Whitney and Brendan have been enjoying a busy summer as well. Whitney attended a five week ballet workshop and Brendan had a one week karate workshop of his own. Brendan is currently on the road traveling through Yellowstone Park and the Black Hills of South Dakota with Grandpa and Grandma Schmanski. Whitney and I will fly and them in Minneapolis this weekend and attend a family reunion. We are looking forward to the visit!! And school starts again in a couple of weeks...

That is all for tonight and thank you for visiting Tori's site!!

The Schmanski Family

Tim, Maria, Tori, Whitney and Brendan