Keeping Matt Cole and his family in our prayers in these exciting times. We are proud to have Matt as our national spokesman for the Star of Hope military jewelry design. A United States Marine that inspires everyone that comes in contact with him!

COVINGTON, La.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–TCA Cellular Therapy, LLC has enrolled its first patient to participate in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first adult stem cell clinical trial to treat spinal cord injuries. Enrollee and Marine Veteran, Matt Cole was paralyzed from the chest down in a 2005 insurgent attack in Iraq.

Anne Dale with American Hero Marine Matt Cole

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (February 2010), it is estimated that up to 311,000 people in the U.S. are living with a Spinal Cord Injury with the average health care and living expenses cost for the first year following the injury as much as $830,000 per patient.

TCA Cellular’s neurological team is led by stem cell experts Jose J. Minguell, PhD, Carolina Allers, PhD, and Gabriel Lasala, MD, neurosurgeon Gustavo Gutnisky, MD, and neurologist Srinivas Ganji, MD. The team is scheduled to treat ten patients in Phase I.

“Many spinal cord injury patients have no effective treatment available at this time,” stated Dr. Gutnisky. “I’m very encouraged by the results of the pre-clinical trials and anticipate this may become a significant therapy for these patients in the near future.”

Utilizing TCA Cellular’s proprietary therapy, a couple of thousand adult stem cells have been extracted from the patient’s own bone marrow, Mesenchymal Stem Cells have been separated, purified, multiplied to millions and will be infused into Cole’s spinal cord later this month.

“In theory we expect the cells to repair damaged neurons,” explained TCA Cellular president, Dr. Lasala. “At minimum, our team expects this therapy will provide some improvement to the patient’s motory and sensory functions with no side effects.”

About TCA Cellular Therapy
Under the scientific guidance of cellular biologist, Jose J. Minguell, Ph.D., TCA Cellular Therapy, LLC is a biotherapeutic adult stem cell research and development company. The company has been recognized by the FDA as one of the top 10 U.S. companies researching stem cell therapies. Founded in 2006, the privately-held company has multiple ongoing FDA clinical trials utilizing patient’s own cells. The company is located in Covington, Louisiana.

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Saint Joseph Abbey Retreat

Covington, Louisiana

June 26 -28th

During a retreat at the Saint Joseph Abbey Monastery, Immaculée shared her miraculous story of how she survived during the Rwanda genocide in 1994 .

It’s an amazing story.  Immaculee was 22 years old and home for Easter Break from her second year of college when the Genocide began. She survived by hiding in a Pastor’s tiny bathroom 4′ x 3′ feet for 91 days with seven other starving women.

After reading her book, Left to Tell, which is life altering, I was inspired to create a piece of jewelry for her as a reminder of her spirit, mission of love and forgiveness.

The piece is called “Jewel of Africa”, consisting of a silhouette of Africa in gold with a diamond set in Rwanda.

Engraved on the back are the names of her father, mother and two brothers who were killed during the genocide.  I was moved to tears when she turned the piece over and read their names from her heart.

Immaculée shows us how to embrace the power of prayer, forge a profound and lasting relationship with God, and discover the importance of forgiveness and the meaning of truly unconditional love and understanding — through our darkest hours.

Women join to better the community

Woman of the Year

Anne Dale – Woman of the Year

One week is set aside every October to recognize women in our community who use their time and talent for the greater good of mankind (Woman of the Year). I know that sounds a bit dramatic, but you might be surprised of the impact women have, for instance, in our local economy.

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Jeweler for a Cause® – Saint Scholastica Academy 

Saint Scholastica Academy

Saint Scholastica Academy (SSA), a catholic college preparatory high school in Covington, LA drawing upon its 100-year history of sisterhood, perpetuates the Benedictine tradition of prayer, work, study and community. Students will be assisting in a work project at Our Lady of Lourdes School which was devastated by Katrina in New Orleans. If you would like to donate to their mission, please contact:

Elaine Simmons at OR
122 South Massachusetts Street,
Covington, LA 70433

St. Scholastica Academy is owned by the Archdiocese of New Orleans and is governed by the Archbishop of New Orleans. As a Catholic school, SSA is part of the educational ministry of the Church and, as such, does not have a separate legal identity. The Archdiocesan Office of Catholic Schools, headed by the Superintendent of Catholic Schools, monitors the religious and academic programs of the school to ensure that they comply with Archdiocesan and State policies.