Friday, January 23, 2009
Hope for the Future
In his Inaugural Address, President Barack Obama told us that chief among his objectives is to "restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost."
As the Executive Director of the Tulsa Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, I couldn’t be more thrilled, and eagerly anticipate the new administration moving forward to explore areas of science that will lead to cures for diseases such as type 1 (juvenile) diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes strikes more than 30,000 Americans each year, more than half of them kids. Until a cure is found, people with type 1 must test their blood sugar and inject themselves with insulin (or use a pump) multiple times each day, every day of their lives. Insulin is not a cure for type 1, and it doesn’t prevent diabetes complications like blindness, kidney disease, heart disease, or nerve damage. Research to find a cure is the only course of action – a course that can only be accelerated by an Administration committed to using science to raise the quality and affordability of health care.
The mission of JDRF is to support research leading to a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications. Since 1970, JDRF has spent $1.3 billion to uncover ways to fund science to reverse the immune system attack that causes diabetes, restore normal blood sugars, prevent or reverse the devastating complications the disease can cause, and – until a cure is found – help people better control their type 1 diabetes, lead longer lives, and lower the risk of complications.
The new President said “There is work to be done.” On behalf of the JDRF community, we hope that much of that work is focused on using science to bring cures for disease and a better life for Americans. First on the list will be for the President to keep his promise to issue an executive order to overturn the current restrictive policy on embryonic stem cell research – which could be key to better understanding why diabetes develops and in developing new treatments for the disease.
We look forward to a time when type 1 diabetes no longer threatens the lives of millions of Americans – and costs literally hundreds of billions of dollars in health care expenses each and every year. And we’re ready to work hand-in-hand with the administration to speed the pace of research leading to a cure.
-Official Statement from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation