Stories of Hope

Fia Richmond

Children's Neurobiological Solutions Foundation, (CNS)
Founder & President

I am here to tell you our story – to talk about children who suffer from brain injuries or central nervous system abnormalities and to let you know that now, more than ever, we have a tremendous opportunity to give these children and their families a renewed chance at life.

  • Julius was a healthy, full-term baby in utero, but became trapped during his birth and suffered prolonged birth asphyxiation.
  • Already a strong swimmer at the age of seven, Martin suffered an incapacitating brain injury while jumping from the diving board into the family’s swimming pool.
  • Born with a neuromuscular disorder, Natalie, now three, is unable to walk, talk, or sit up. She remains undiagnosed.
  • Our son Palmer is seven years old and he can not walk, talk, sit up or feed himself independently. He remains undiagnosed but clearly has a brain injury.

The desire to have a child, like most American’s, was to experience the love for our own child. Typical of many mothers, I envisioned breast feeding, walks in the park, family outings and gatherings around the dinner table. Part of the bigger dream was in becoming part of the parent community and taking on the responsibilities of teaching our son life skills and values as well as giving him every break possible for a life filled with potential and opportunities for him to become a valuable citizen of the world.

Unfortunately Palmer’s brain injury has robbed us of these inherent experiences and possibilities; the American dream that so many of us take for granted.

When Palmer was born, like so many other parents, we were told he was a normal, healthy child. Within a few days of Palmer’s birth, I had to say goodbye to the dream of parenthood, at least the one we all imagine. Although we were told Palmer was a normal healthy baby immediately after birth, within two days he started having seizures and complications resulting in emergency surgeries. From that time forward, Palmer has faced countless medical challenges and he has never met any of his developmental milestones. He will require life long care. My husband and I do not think about Palmer’s graduation from elementary school, high school or college; instead we revel in the simpler things, like a smile or a new sound.

Since Palmer’s birth I have lived in a parallel world, facing the daily struggles and loss while also envisioning Palmer as a healthy normal child running and playing with his peers. My ability to imagine is what has allowed me to survive emotionally and continue to have hope. It is also been instrumental in my quest to understand today’s medicine and technologies, and tomorrow’s possibilities.

Currently there are 14 million children in the United States who struggle with some form of neurological dysfunction, including cerebral palsy, autism, traumatic brain injury and degenerative diseases. Some of these conditions are genetic, others are acquired. All are heart-wrenching and currently without cure.

Stem cell research holds the key to unlocking so many of the medical mysteries that plague society. It offers hope for therapies and cures that, until now, could not even be imaged. Having watched the evolution of neuroscience over this past decade and seeing its promise, my husband and I founded Children's Neurobiological Solutions Foundation, (CNS), to accelerate research and engage top scientists in finding biomedical solutions for our children. CNS's world-renowned scientists strongly believe that their research, while dramatically improving the lives of these children will also contribute greatly to the knowledge and treatment of adult neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson\'s and stroke.

Please join with us and give a voice to the millions of children and adults by supporting the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative.

Paid for by YES on 71: Coalition for Stem Cell Research and Cures, #1260661
Privacy Policy  |   Site Map  |   Contact Us  |   Search