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Sidebars: Get down to business at Palomino

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Now it's time to get serious. During the past couple of years writing this column Jenny and I have had a great deal of fun. If you readers enjoy our contribution to the Indiana Lawyer only half as much as we do then this article serves its intended purpose - a break from the hard-nosed realities of practicing law.

A vast majority of readers of this column do not know me. What you do know of me is that my practice carries me to all parts of this wonderful state. I deeply enjoy meeting judges, prosecutors, and local lawyers from counties all across this state and becoming privy to the nuances each county brings. My travels, however, are not without their difficulty.

Seven years ago it all seemed so perfect. A beautiful wife. Three children - at that time ages 6, 4, and 1. A successful practice. Then I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

I've always taken the approach that it isn't what happens to people that matters. What does matter is how they respond to it. Having worked so hard to get where I was I knew that failure was not an option. It isn't just about me, I told myself. It is about those who depend upon me. I never liked jogging anyway so the inconvenience of MS is just that. It is an inconvenience and not a burden. Just watch the news some night. Pick up a file in your office. Those people have burdens.

Those who do know me or who have seen me, have seen me with my cane in the courtroom. You Marion County practitioners undoubtedly have seen me zip to court from my office to the City-County Building on my Segway. It's really quite liberating. Or as my dear wife, Amy, describes it, suddenly I go from "cripple to cool."

Dr. Keith March is a fellow parishioner of mine. A professor of cardiology, inter alia, at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, he invited me to lunch recently to discuss a new foundation he's helped formulate and how it can positively impact people like me. Known as the Cell Therapy Foundation, its mission is to advance the cause of adult stemcell research. The purpose of our meeting was to get my thoughts about whether MS would be a worthy disease to study, along with a few select others.

Joined by Bryan Snook, the director of resource development for the foundation, and Ann Myers, the director of operations, the four of us met over a lively lunch and discussed everything from strategy, funding, policy, procedure, Costa Rican research models, Northwestern University studies, and yes, the food.

This is an exciting, one-of-a-kind project, and it's going on right in our backyard. Still in its infancy it has accomplished much. Dick Van Dyke, 84 years strong, is donating his time and image to the foundation as its national spokesperson. The board of directors is an esteemed group, working hard to raise awareness about the foundation be it through fundraising, securing grants and, of course, research.

Adult stem cells are void of the controversy surrounding embryonic stem cells and potentially show greater promise. Taken from your fat cells through liposuction, they are used to regenerate growth to damaged areas of your body. Imagine a day where you enter a doctor's office in a wheelchair with the ability to walk out unassisted. Plus, you might lose 10 pounds in the process! Space limitations prevent me from going on. You will see donation possibilities from me in the future. Now, about the food.

Palomino, while not an independent restaurant, is one of the best in Indianapolis for a business lunch. I had the grouper, swimming in a savory broth mixed with vegetables, legumes, and perhaps a hint of pancetta. The others enjoyed sea scallops nestled on a bed of spinach and drizzled with pine nuts. Quality food and a favorite of locals and out-of-towners alike. This place is always a worth visit.

Thanks for letting me vent and spread awareness today. For more information, visit www.celltherapyfoundation.org and www.palomino.com. 45 W. Maryland St., Indianapolis.

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