Last week, Lucas Lindner—only a year removed from a car crash that left him a quadriplegic—rolled up to the pitcher’s mound at Miller Park in Milwaukee in a wheelchair powered by a joystick. Fans cheered him on as he tossed the game’s first pitch.

Only a year ago Lucas was a paraplegic, the result of an accident. With no use of his arms or legs, Lucas participated in a CIRM-funded stem cell clinical trial run by Asterias Biotherapeutics to test AST-OPC1, a stem cell therapy for complete spinal cord injury. Learn more about the trial here.

Following the clinical trial, Lucas has increased use of his arms, hands, and fingers. He’s able to move with the use of his wheelchair, to text, to write—and to throw the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game.

“I want to show everyone that there is hope that spinal cord injury patients can regain function,” says Lucas. “I am looking forward to going back to school, pursuing my dream of working in the IT field and living independently someday.”

Lucas Lindner’s story reminds us about the power of stem cell research, and how it can transform lives of patients. Learn more about how stem cell research is giving spinal cord injury patients a second chance.