Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Inside the JDRF Think Tank

Last night,local pump group had the JDRF VP for Government Relations,Larry Solaris,to come & speak about the work JDRF is doing.And the place was packed,despite the frigid,driving rain that clogged up traffic in every road around there.

I had out my iPhone,furiously Tweeting away with mad abandon so I wouldn't forget anything.I was off in my own little world,not really knowing anyone there anyway,when the speaker came up,introduced himself,and asked what I was doing.I responded,& he said the only day he'd ever Tweeted was when JDRF went to the White House.(Obama Admininistration) I guess that was right before the Secret Service confiscated his phone.(still,pretty cool...Tweeting from the White House!) (I cannot believe I actually told him what I was doing,because for the rest of the night he referred to me BY NAME with various Twitter-related stuff.(in the presentation)To say that he has an amazing memory would be an understatement.)Anyway,the VP had brought along his JDRF entourage-staff to help with the presentation.Animas had furnished the requitory diet coke and carrot sticks,& we all settled in to be duly educated.The VP is a type 1 himself...and that added a touch of realness to the JDRF message.So, he touched briefly on the operating budget of JDRF,amount allocated for research(1.5 billlion,funding through 2011),the artificial pancreas project(goal is,to submit to the FDA for approval within 4 years),Smart Insulin-which is being funded partly by JDRF , microneedles(which are so tiny it's like they don't exist...and JDRF is working with BD on them,potentially to be put into pumps..have potential for much quicker insulin absorbtion), advocacy(Promise to Remember Me,Childrens Congress),walks(and we'll be doing our FIRST walk in April,squee!) ,cgm/pump coverage(they met with top ten insurance company ceo's to see what it would take for sensor coverage)and stem cell research.This is where the mood turned from that of excitement to an emotion of an entirely different sort. I happen to think there are other options to the path to a cure,then that of stem cell research.People say..well,if your son/brother/mom were dying & that were the only chance they had you'd feel differently.It doesn't work that way,you can't approve of something you feel to be morally wrong.Even if it means you have to live the rest of your life with this disease.

Anyway,beyond that,it was a very good presentation,& I'm now all fired up to go harass our Congressmen about more funding!

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1 comment:

Kathy said...

Adult stem cell transplants might offer a way around the moral dilemma. Our country needs to catch up with this direction of research. And good for you for contacting your congress rep. I need to do that too.