A Student Ambassador’s Journey

Angela Chlebowski

Angela Chlebowski and her family.

Angela Chlebowski and her family.

Angela is a graduate student in the DNP-FNP program at Fairfield University and a member of the inaugural class of  The Stem for Life Foundation’s Student Ambassadors for the Cellular Age program.

If you had asked me to describe  myself two years ago, I would  have said: I am a mother of three children, a wife, and a nurse. Today, I am extremely proud to say that I have  added two important credentials to my personal and professional  resume.

First, I am now a graduate student at Fairfield University in Connecticut  in the United States. Twelve years after graduating with my BSN, I have  enrolled in the DNP-FNP (Doctor  of Nursing Program/Family Nurse  Practitioner) program. My second credential, and one that I am equally proud of, is that I am currently serving as a Student Ambassador for The Stem for Life Foundation.

I have always aspired to work with children and families with special needs. As a mother of a child with a rare genetic disease, I felt that I needed to continue my education to make a difference. And when I learned about the opportunity to become a Student Ambassador, I knew that this program would change my life.

I was selected to represent Fairfield University at The Second International Adult Stem Cell Conference: Regenerative Medicine–A Fundamental Shift in Science and Culture, held at the Vatican this past spring. Never did I imagine that my life would be changed by four days. I was inspired by the scientists and medical professionals, politicians and bioethicists. The Student Ambassadors were encouraged to listen, to learn, to question, and most importantly, “to light a spark.” The idea was brilliant and simple; to have the students return to their schools and become the next generation of leaders, thereby generating awareness and spreading the word about the benefits of adult stem cell therapies.

The Conference motivated me to make changes in my education. I want to be a leader. I want to be part of the change that brings awareness of adult stem cell therapies to our society, particularly those with special needs.

The Student Ambassador Program has changed my outlook on the future of medicine. I am committed to helping this program continue, so that many more people can benefit from the healing potential of adult stem cell science.

Using adult stem cell therapies is going to change the face of healthcare in the world. To advance this cause is to enlighten society. There is a grave misconception surrounding stem cell therapies. The public is unaware that there is a difference between adult stem cells and the controversial embryonic stem cells. Without the education of leaders, and new leaders (i.e., the Student Ambassadors) these misconceptions will continue. Research and funding are necessary to continue the growth in adult stem cell research. We must dispel myth and controversy so that as stem cell therapies continue to evolve and develop, more therapies will get to patients who so desperately need them.

I was fortunate to be part of the 2013 inaugural class of Student Ambassadors for The Stem for Life Foundation. I have learned how adult stem cells can potentially help patients with multiple sclerosis, cardiac issues, orthopedic problems, neurologic disease, the regeneration of organs, and much more. If I could use one word to describe adult stem cell research, it would be “HOPE.” Hope for your mother, father, or child. More research support is needed so
that further advancement of adult stem cell therapies can take place to help children like my son, who has a disease called PMD, and has no hope for treatment outside of stem cells.

Awareness of the potential of adult stem cell therapies does not need to be advanced solely by researchers and scientists. I am a Student Ambassador, a nurse, and a mother and I am vested in this cause. Raising awareness can and will help millions. I ask you then to become knowledgeable, bring correct information to the world, and continue the amazing work being done by The Stem for Life Foundation. Join me by inspiring those around you to want to learn and be passionate about adult stem cell therapies and the hope they bring to the world.

 The Student Ambassadors for the Cellular Age program aims to inspire the next generation about the potential of, and advances in, adult stem cell science and the role that cellular therapies will play in medicine and in alleviating human suffering.