13 June 2012

Dreaming of Hillary Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Who in the hell is Dennis Tesolat? That's what I think that Rick Hansen thinks every time I send him emails and faxes.

Now don't get me wrong, I think that we all have to keep sending our questions, petitions, and appeals, but wouldn't it be nice if we had a big name behind us.

Whenever I've had this conversation with others, or even myself, celebrities, paralyzed or not, always come up. I think that it would be great to have Bruce Springsteen or even the 'Queen of Soul' Aretha Franklin as the public face of a cure for paralysis, but I think we need someone who demands respect and knows how to make herself heard.

Tonight while I was reading an article in the paper about Hillary Clinton, it struck me that she was the one I've been looking for.

Luckily, the paper went on to say that she's leaving her gig at the Department of State and not considering a run for the White House in 2016.

With this in mind, I penned (thumbed) her a quick letter (yup, I'm sending it in the actual post).

I'll let you know if and when I hear back;)
The Honorable Hillary Clinton Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC

13 June 2012

Dear Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton,

My name is Dennis Tesolat. I am a Canadian living in Osaka, Japan, and I am a paraplegic.
Since I know that you're busy, I won't waste your time boring you with the details of my life and get right to the point of this letter.

The reason I'm writing is because I work with activists all over the world who are dealing with a cure for spinal cord injury, and I'd like to get you on our team.

I was reading in the paper that you're wrapping up your current job this year and it doesn't sound like you'll be making a run for the White House in 2016. The paper said something about joining your husband at the Clinton Foundation where you can continue your advocacy work for women's and human rights. These are two great areas of advocacy, and I think that you really have your work cut out for you, but why not add one more thing to that; become our international czar for a cure for paralysis. I imagine that with someone like you at the helm it will only take a few years and then you can go back to the other things that you are interested in.

I know you're probably thinking that I'm nuts to say only a few years, but that's how close I reckon we are especially if someone like you gets on board.

You're probably wondering what kind of work you'd be doing for us. Well, I don't like to micromanage and I think that you'll develop the role, but if I were to give you some examples, I would say:

Raising money; it's always needed.
Talking to the folks at the NIH about funding applications.
Speeding up the process for clinical trials by meeting with the FDA when applications are made.

But I think most importantly, your name and your skills would get researchers, universities, biotechs, and even governments collaborating more and therefore speeding this stuff up. I think most scientists would be impressed if you personally called them up and invited them all over for coffee and then you could make them work more closely together.

I even think that you could scare people from time to time to make them do the right thing. I'll give you a quick example. Without going into details, there is this one company in that holds a patent on a product that scientists say could be very important in curing paralysis. The problem is that they're sitting on it. This is after a lot of money in direct government grants to them and grants to scientists to study it. This would be a good first project.

I can imagine their faces as you swagger on into their office and bang their heads together while demanding that they meet their obligation to society instead of putting their shareholders ahead of the paralyzed.

Heck, even if you just agreed to do this it would be a tremendous help.

I'll fill you in on the details when you call me. I'm on skype (stemcellsandatombombs) and if that's not convenient, send me an email (stemcells.and.atombombs(at mark)gmail.com) with your number and I'll give you a call.

Hope we can work together.

Dennis Tesolat

PS. Yes, this offer is serious. I just figured that you get a lot of mail and if I just made my request like everyone else's, you'd probably chuck it in the trash. I hope that by making you laugh, you'll look at this offer with interest.

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