THE CALIFORNIA STEM CELL PROGRAM: A Patient Advocate’s Viewpoint
By Don C. Reed
In its ten years of active existence (lawsuits blocked its funding for the first two and a half years) the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has saved lives, eased suffering and brought the realistic hope of cure to millions.
As a patient advocate, I am eager for cure. But I know every step of the way will be difficult, as we systematically attack “incurable” disease. We need the faith of the farmer, who plows and plants his field, knowing it will take time for the seeds to open underground, and fight their way upward through the soil, to the sun.
Already, we are seeing the first fruits of cure: like the stem cell device to be implanted under a diabetic’s skin, after which it will distribute the insulin required.But I believe the best is yet to come.