Life. Every time you try and tie it up in neat bows it changes directions.
Monday, I wrote a column about Mitch Curtis, a 14-year-old wheelchair-bound boy in South Jordan with muscular dystrophy who is battling for his life.Based on what they had both seen and been told, the Curtis family believe Mitch can be saved, and indeed can walk again, if he undergoes a process called myoblast therapy treatment, at a cost of $350,000.
In the few short days since Monday, the response has been beyond heartwarming. Businesses have made pledges, private individuals have sent donations, entertainers have offered to give benefits. It's like Roma Downey paid a personal visit to thousands. Mankind has its moments.
But response wasn't limited to benevolent gestures; others were quick to enlighten both me and the Curtises about possible shortcomings of the myoblast treatment.
There is another point of view out there, and it is not optimistic.
And yes, "Dateline" is following the story.
Dr. Leon Charash is a pediatric neurologist who chairs the national Muscular Dystrophy Association's medical advisory board. For a segment yet to be aired, he was interviewed by "Dateline," the NBC investigative news program, concerning myoblast. What Charash told "Dateline" he reiterated to the Deseret News.
"There is not a scintilla of scientific evidence to support that it works."
Charash insists he is as neutral as Switzerland when it comes to new discoveries. "I don't do happy work," he says of his daily dealings with dying children. He prays for treatments and cures.
But after extensive investigation into the work of Dr. Peter Law, the Memphis-based researcher behind myoblast therapy, Charash is not only not impressed, but he is concerned to the point of alarm. Concerned and alarmed that Law works on his own, away from the mainstream medical community, and that his "evidences" are, in medical jargon, anecdotal rather than scientific.
Dr. Peter Law - this will not surprise you - has a different point of view.
While admitting that myoblast therapy is in "the clinical trial period," he also claims that it has "clinical benefit" and is "the best the world has to offer."
Law wonders why people question what he charges for a potential cure, yet don't question the $1.3 billion raised by Jerry Lewis telethons "that haven't come up with anything to treat the patient."
He says the reason the "Dateline" segment - which reportedly blasts his work - hasn't aired is because, "they would have to show footage of someone walking who was in a wheelchair for four years."
That wheelchair-bound man walking is David Plemmons, a 30-year-old sufferer of Beckers muscular dystrophy.
Plemmons lives in Waynesville, N.C., where he drives a car, a ride-on lawn mower, and can walk more than 70 paces at physical therapy.
It was David Plemmons whom the Curtises met on a visit to Law's clinic in Memphis, and it was David Plemmons who gave them the greatest hope.
When the Waynesville community heard of Plemmons' plight, they raised the money for his therapy and sent him to Memphis. Ever since his return, he has extolled the virtues of what happened up there. The Curtises dream of a sequel.
As Charash would be the first to tell you, David Plemmons' evidence is anecdotal. The treatment he got in Memphis may have nothing to do with his walking.
And yet, at a frame home in South Jordan, a family can't get David Plemmons out of its mind.
Even after a telephone visit this week with Charash, Scott and Jackie Curtis, and Mitch, hold on to what they've seen and heard - and to their only option.
Overhearing his parents talking about the "controversy" one night, Mitch shouted from the next room, "I'm going to walk and prove it all right."
To which Jackie Curtis replied: "Mitch, hang on to that thought."