When I was a boy growing up in South Boston, there simply weren't enough hours in the day to do all the things I wanted and had to do. Whether it was going to school, delivering newspapers, and grocery bundles, playing football, baseball or basketball or doing homework, finding more time to do all these things was more than a challenge for me. But miraculously, like many young people, I was more then able to struggle my way through it. From All State in two sports in high school, to All American Academic in college. But when I was elected Mayor of Boston, I felt the hours in the day belonged to the people who elected me. Yes, I ran many marathons, but I also attended two or three neighborhood meetings each night.
When I returned to Boston from Rome, where I served as U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican for almost five years, I was getting older and now had larger family obligations -- 17 grandchildren. But I still found the time and energy to do all the things I had and wanted to do. I have to admit that my pace slowed down considerably when I had to spend so much time writing, studying and doing my national radio shows. But I knew I had to have even more energy, because I had a handicapped and special needs grandson, who was born with a rare undiagnosed disease. Even though I was in good shape, I was getting older.
Because of my grandson's rare illness, I spent a lot of time searching for medical answers for him. This journey took me to the National Institute of Health in Maryland, to medical experts and scientists throughout the United States and even back to my friend, the Pope at the Vatican. Yes, it's been a long journey, but I did what I had to do. After having done a lot of important things in life, I found a cause that I completely believed in -- helping less fortunate people, especially children. I had seen hopelessness and I intended to do all I could to restore some hope. I learned that my own energy levels and good health requires nutritional awareness. I discovered that our own bodies are capable of generating healthy new Adult Stem Cells that can repair and regenerate every part of the body. In fact, stem cells do this in our bodies each and every day, naturally. Unfortunately, stress, pollution, lack of proper sleep and diets compromise our natural stem cell renewal system. Newly developed "stem cell nutrition" helps to overcome these challenges and keep the body's natural renewal system running at optimal levels. This was what I needed for strength, energy and good health. Now, even after a long day of public appearances, family responsibilities, media interviews and finishing writing a screenplay based on my acclaimed novel, The Accidental Pope, I walk five miles around Castle Island in South Boston, which helps keep me physically fit to stay at the top of my game.
Today, I was sitting in the coffee shop at Tufts New England Center with my 8-year-old grandson Braeden, who was going to be examined for new braces for his legs, when a Harvard Medical School professor came up to me and Braeden and said, Mayor, this must be your grandson Braeden. I heard you on WBZ Radio last week. You were talking about the amazing power of stem cell nutrition and that my own body's stem cells, holds the key to my future wellness and prospect for a longer and healthier life. Many health care researchers agree with you, I certainly do. As a matter of fact, the Harvard Stem Cell Institute is going to report on major study in what they will call, Stem Cell Breakthrough in Treatment of Diabetes. Who knows, maybe your dream for Braeden and thousands of other special needs children will one day become a reality. Being an alum of Harvard Graduate School of Education myself, today I just received the Harvard Magazine lead story about the medical breakthrough. Whether this study will help Braeden, I can't say. But I do believe society and science are moving in the right direction.
Stem cell nutrition is here today, available and affordable for everyone. Stem cell medicine, while being a future promise, is real and has amazing potential. I also believe that with Faith, Hope and good science, anything is possible. Maybe one day children like Braeden will be able run, walk and talk like every other child.