Patient Advocate for Parkinson’s disease; President, Summit for Stem Cell Foundation, Inc.
Jenifer Raub is co-founder and President of Summit for Stem Cell Foundation, Inc. (Summit). Summit is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization working for the benefit of approximately 10 million worldwide struggling with Parkinson’s disease and 1 billion worldwide living with a neurodegenerative condition or disease. With the primary focus on Parkinson’s disease, Summit strives to alleviate patients’ frustrations when trying to navigate the maze of information and ultimately separate hope from hype. Summit prides itself on providing reliable evidence-based information.
When Jenifer was told she “might have” Parkinson’s 14 years ago, she spent 2 years trying to negate or confirm the “iffy” diagnosis. A DaTscan (Dopamine transporter scan) finally confirmed the diagnosis. This led to her withdrawing from her life and grieving. During this time, she recalled articles she voraciously read about Curt Freed’s work implanting fetal-source dopamine tissue into Parkinson’s patients and the promise of regenerative medicine.
In 2014, barely able to walk without the aid of 2 canes, Jenifer found a fledgling research project in Dr. Jeanne Loring’s lab in need of funding. 3 weeks later, she, her husband, some dear friends, and a small group Parkinson’s patients hosted an event raising $1.3 million with 60 guests present. This gave the research project working towards an autologous dopamine neuron replacement therapy for Parkinson’s disease the needed cash infusion to move forward.
After fighting to improve the quality of her life through exercise and other means, she began down a determined road and vowed to keep others from the same experience by changing the status quo for Parkinson’s patients.