Former first lady Nancy Reagan last week called for expanding stem cell research, in a rare public appeal that put her at odds with the Bush administration and many other conservatives. In 2001, President Bush imposed tight limits on federally funded stem-cell research because the process involves destroying human embryos. Scientists say stem cells could be the key to curing many illnesses, including Alzheimers, the degenerative brain disease that afflicts former president Ronald Reagan. Ronnies long journey has finally taken him to a distant place where I can no longer reach him, Nancy Reagan said. Im determined to do whatever I can to save other families from this pain.