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THE SECOND-MOST IMPORTANT MATTER ON THE BALLOT: Prop
14!!!

THE SECOND-MOST IMPORTANT MATTER ON THE BALLOT: Prop14!!!

by Don C. Reed

The most important matter on the ballot is of course the
Presidency; but I am a Democrat, so no surprises there. My concern
is for the second most important issue. Here’s why:

On November 3rd, California faces a life/death stem cell
decision.

Life and death? Do I exaggerate? Ask yourself one simple
question:

What is the number one killer in the world
today?
According to the National Institutes of
Health (NIH):

“Chronic diseases are responsible for seven out of 10 deaths
in the U.S., killing more than 1.7 million Americans each
year…†(1)

And the financial cost of all that disease? Roughly $3 trillion
dollars… (2)

Somebody tell me now, that chronic disease is not a life and
death concern!

A one-word definition for “chronic†is “incurableâ€. But
California rejects that definition, and is fighting back: using
science to battle for cure.

Since 2004, California has had a beautiful stem cell program,
called the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM),
battling chronic disease.

This is personal: cancer killed my wife Gloria, my sister Patty,
and my mother Christine; paralysis afflicts my son Roman
every day.

Alzheimer’s and diabetes took the mother and son of Bob Klein,
California’s friend, the man who brought us the first California
stem cell initiative, and who leads the battle again — to
restore that funding.

Is CIRM worth defending? CIRM is already defending us!

There are 94 clinical trials going on right now — all of
which CIRM had a connection with, from 30 early fundings of the
research — (3)

— or direct financial assistance to 64 clinical
trials (4).

The research being done is so excellent that a special federal
designation (Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy Designation)
RMAT was granted to seven CIRM projects, dealing with cellular
therapies. There were also two FDA breakthrough designations: one
for cancer, the other for an immunological condition.

This is no empty honor; it means the possibility of getting
relief faster to the patients: with swifter FDA approval for
treatments of paralysis, kidney disease, immune disorders,
blindness, cancer and more. (5)

Advanced trials are showing great promise, including type one
and type two insulin-dependent diabetes trials by ViaCyte (funded
by CIRM)

CIRM-funded treatments saved the lives of 50 children, who would
otherwise almost certainly have died of an immune disorder, the
“bubble baby†disease.

Evangelina Vaccaro, victorious (with the help of science!) over
the dread “bubble baby†disease.

It also achieved two FDA-approved treatments for blood cancer
therapies.

Check out the campaign headquarters: www.caforcures.com.

Or, go to the program itself: www.cirm.ca.gov. See where the
money went.

There is a short cut. On your search bar, put the name of the
disease, followed by fact sheet CIRM:

For example: If you put: “Leukemia fact sheet CIRMâ€, Google
will take you to:


https://www.cirm.ca.gov/our-progress/disease-information/leukemia-fact-sheet

There you will find summaries of scientists’ fights against
this liquid cancer, their individual grants, and the total for
leukemia: $193,464,356.00.

One hundred ninety-three million, four hundred sixty-four
thousand, three hundred fifty-six thousand dollars…That’s the
sort of funding that will win the war against leukemia, step by
step, by scientists like Catriona Jamieson of UCSD..

Unfortunately… the money is almost gone.

And there is our decision: do we continue the fight, or sit back
and surrender?

November 3rd is decision day — — unless you vote
early — which I did!

It was exciting!

As soon as the precious vote-by-mail envelope arrived, I went to
the kitchen table, and went over the ballot, checking off the boxes
I knew something about.

And what is the second-most most important issue on
the ballot?

OBVIOUSLY — Proposition 14: the California Stem Cell
Research, Treatments and Cures Initiative of 2020.

I love Prop 14!!! That is a triple exclamation mark issue for
me! If I had to, I would walk to Sacramento to put in my vote for
Prop 14!

It is not so difficult as that, fortunately. All I had to do was
fill out the ballot, stick it in the envelope, seal it — and
sign on the outside where I was supposed to.

Then I ran up to the post office, where BIG BLUE was waiting for
me: the mailbox, massive, secured to the concrete, BIG BLUE,
containing the hopes and dreams of all who cared enough
to vote.

I stood there a moment, savoring the moment, just a little
worried I might do something wrong.

This had to be done right. It was for my state, our country, and
the world.

If Prop 14 wins, the battle continues strong: against cancer,
arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, leukemia, Parkinson’s disease,
sickle cell anemia, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy,
Huntington’s disease, liver malfunction, blindness, deafness,
heart disease, schizophrenia, autism and so much
more — conditions we must fight, to protect our loved
ones — and to help our California and national economy
recover from the COVID-19 crisis!

I opened the Big Blue mailbox, slid in the sealed envelope,
released my grip.

CLUNK. Done. I walked home, content.

Success on Prop 14 depends on the actions of dedicated
individuals, like you.

What can you do, to insure continued funding for California’s
stem cell program?

Thanks to the electronic miracle of the weblog, you can
influence the decision up to the last minute. I will send out my
last weblog on the morning of November 3rd, the official day
of voting.

Contact your email chain!

Also, and this may sound primitive… talk to people! Ask people
you meet, “Hey, how about that Prop 14, the Stem cell
Initiative?â€

Share some enthusiasm — this is incredible stuff!

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to know
everything before you speak. Think of all those people who know
nothing, but still talk constantly — what you have to say is
important!

Besides, you can never know everything about a subject as vast
and ever-changing as stem cell research,

If somebody asks you a question but you don’t know the answer,
just admit it.

“Good question, I don’t know — but go to the
campaign’s website—www.caforcures.com, they will know.â€

How important is a suggestion from a stranger? Very. If people
do not know an issue, they could make up their mind because one
person who took the trouble to bring it up. Everyone likes
enthusiasm — they will care because you care.

Sometimes I say, “Hey, they’re fighting back against cancer,
paralysis Alzheimer’s — all that stuff. If it hurts people,
they’re fighting it!â€

But maybe you live in another state, so you can’t vote on
Prop14? Write a letter or email to your friend/relation who does
live in California, tell him/her to be sure and vote YES on Prop
14 — don’t forget, Prop 14, that’s a big yes on 14!!!

I make it a commitment to talk to at least one person a day
about Prop 14 — not much! But if the vote totals get close,
think how valuable that single vote could be.

Never forget 2000, when the Presidency was decided by just 538
votes, and we got George Bush instead of Al Gore? Every vote
matters — and yours could be the one that takes us over
the top!

Also, never be afraid to ask a busy person! The worst you can
get is a no — and you might get a yes from someone who really
knows what they are doing.

For instance, I love to see statements of support from CIRM
board members, arguably the busiest folk on the planet.

One said:

“Several of you have asked me why I am in favor of Prop 14,
and I thought you might be interested in my rationale. I’m
writing this as a California scientist and researcher… (For full
disclosure, I am on the board of CIRM).

“Prop. 14 is about authorizing $5.5 billion to keep our stem
cell research program going. This is critical: to bring this
innovative science all the way to patients is a very challenging
endeavor: requiring cutting edge research, complex manufacturing,
regulatory approval, etc.

“Public money is essential because the risks are too high for
a classical Venture Capital funding model. If government does not
step in, very little will happen.

“The CIRM has a variety of people on its board: academics,
industry executives, patient advocates… I really believe that a
public agency like them can make good decisions with
public money…

“CIRM’s track record is impressive, including 2 FDA approved
drugs and 64 clinical trials. (See full list at https://www.cirm.ca.gov/clinical-trials.)

“So a lot more is coming, but it just takes time. A few
examples: Phase 3 trials in ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Phase 2
in Retinitis Pigmentosa, etc.

“In sum, this measure will serve important unmet medical
needs. â€œ

— Anne-Marie Duliege, MD, board member, CIRM.

Anne-Marie
DuLiege, CIRM board member

Remember the great Helen Keller, blind and
deaf, but a champion advocate for research and human rights?

Helen
Keller, an inspiration for all time.

She said: “I long to accomplish a great and noble task. But it
is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great
and noble.â€

Which reminds me of a story…

It was the first day I met Bob Klein, inventor of the stem
cell program.

Bob
Klein, fighting to fund stem cell research

It was April, 2003. Bob walked with me back to meet some of the
Prop 71 campaign workers — three connected rooms full,
counters piled high with empty pizza boxes — and then he
rushed off for a phone meeting.

I looked around at all these busy people, young, enthusiastic,
laughing as they did chores to make the stem cell program a
reality. I turned to a woman named Amy Daley and asked, was there
something I could do to help, right now?

And she said:

“We were supposed to have clipboards for the signature
gatherers, but they did not arrive. But we do have all these empty
pizza boxes — if somebody would take a razor blade and cut
the boxes into squares for backing…???

I went home with a blood blister on my thumb, but just
blissfully happy.

You should see all the great people I work with now, on the Prop
14 campaign — some of them just scary talented, and
modern-minded like you would not believe. They use phones like
super-computers — I can barely answer my little
flip phone.

But still I can do something.

And I will.

VOTE YES! on Proposition 14 — and ask a friend to do
the same.

1. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › pmc ›
articles › PMC5876976

2. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/costs/index.htm

3. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/costs/index.htm

4. https://www.cirm.ca.gov/our-impact/funding-clinical-trials

5. https://blog.cirm.ca.gov/tag/rmat/

Don C. Reed is the author of: REVOLUTIONARY THERAPIES: How the
California Stem Cell Program Eased Suffering, Saved Lives and
Changed the Face of Medicine Foreverâ€, World Scientific
Publishing, 2020.

THE SECOND-MOST IMPORTANT MATTER ON THE BALLOT: Prop14!!!

by Don C. Reed

The most important matter on the ballot is of course the
Presidency; but I am a Democrat, so no surprises there. My concern
is for the second most important issue. Here’s why:

On November 3rd, California faces a life/death stem cell
decision.

Life and death? Do I exaggerate? Ask yourself one simple
question:

What is the number one killer in the world
today?
According to the National Institutes of
Health (NIH):

“Chronic diseases are responsible for seven out of 10 deaths
in the U.S., killing more than 1.7 million Americans each
year…†(1)

And the financial cost of all that disease? Roughly $3 trillion
dollars… (2)

Somebody tell me now, that chronic disease is not a life and
death concern!

A one-word definition for “chronic†is “incurableâ€. But
California rejects that definition, and is fighting back: using
science to battle for cure.

Since 2004, California has had a beautiful stem cell program,
called the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM),
battling chronic disease.

This is personal: cancer killed my wife Gloria, my sister Patty,
and my mother Christine; paralysis afflicts my son Roman
every day.

Alzheimer’s and diabetes took the mother and son of Bob Klein,
California’s friend, the man who brought us the first California
stem cell initiative, and who leads the battle again — to
restore that funding.

Is CIRM worth defending? CIRM is already defending us!

There are 94 clinical trials going on right now — all of
which CIRM had a connection with, from 30 early fundings of the
research — (3)

— or direct financial assistance to 64 clinical
trials (4).

The research being done is so excellent that a special federal
designation (Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy Designation)
RMAT was granted to seven CIRM projects, dealing with cellular
therapies. There were also two FDA breakthrough designations: one
for cancer, the other for an immunological condition.

This is no empty honor; it means the possibility of getting
relief faster to the patients: with swifter FDA approval for
treatments of paralysis, kidney disease, immune disorders,
blindness, cancer and more. (5)

Advanced trials are showing great promise, including type one
and type two insulin-dependent diabetes trials by ViaCyte (funded
by CIRM)

CIRM-funded treatments saved the lives of 50 children, who would
otherwise almost certainly have died of an immune disorder, the
“bubble baby†disease.

Evangelina Vaccaro, victorious (with the help of science!) over
the dread “bubble baby†disease.

It also achieved two FDA-approved treatments for blood cancer
therapies.

Check out the campaign headquarters: www.caforcures.com.

Or, go to the program itself: www.cirm.ca.gov. See where the
money went.

There is a short cut. On your search bar, put the name of the
disease, followed by fact sheet CIRM:

For example: If you put: “Leukemia fact sheet CIRMâ€, Google
will take you to:


https://www.cirm.ca.gov/our-progress/disease-information/leukemia-fact-sheet

There you will find summaries of scientists’ fights against
this liquid cancer, their individual grants, and the total for
leukemia: $193,464,356.00.

One hundred ninety-three million, four hundred sixty-four
thousand, three hundred fifty-six thousand dollars…That’s the
sort of funding that will win the war against leukemia, step by
step, by scientists like Catriona Jamieson of UCSD..

Unfortunately… the money is almost gone.

And there is our decision: do we continue the fight, or sit back
and surrender?

November 3rd is decision day — — unless you vote
early — which I did!

It was exciting!

As soon as the precious vote-by-mail envelope arrived, I went to
the kitchen table, and went over the ballot, checking off the boxes
I knew something about.

And what is the second-most most important issue on
the ballot?

OBVIOUSLY — Proposition 14: the California Stem Cell
Research, Treatments and Cures Initiative of 2020.

I love Prop 14!!! That is a triple exclamation mark issue for
me! If I had to, I would walk to Sacramento to put in my vote for
Prop 14!

It is not so difficult as that, fortunately. All I had to do was
fill out the ballot, stick it in the envelope, seal it — and
sign on the outside where I was supposed to.

Then I ran up to the post office, where BIG BLUE was waiting for
me: the mailbox, massive, secured to the concrete, BIG BLUE,
containing the hopes and dreams of all who cared enough
to vote.

I stood there a moment, savoring the moment, just a little
worried I might do something wrong.

This had to be done right. It was for my state, our country, and
the world.

If Prop 14 wins, the battle continues strong: against cancer,
arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, leukemia, Parkinson’s disease,
sickle cell anemia, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy,
Huntington’s disease, liver malfunction, blindness, deafness,
heart disease, schizophrenia, autism and so much
more — conditions we must fight, to protect our loved
ones — and to help our California and national economy
recover from the COVID-19 crisis!

I opened the Big Blue mailbox, slid in the sealed envelope,
released my grip.

CLUNK. Done. I walked home, content.

Success on Prop 14 depends on the actions of dedicated
individuals, like you.

What can you do, to insure continued funding for California’s
stem cell program?

Thanks to the electronic miracle of the weblog, you can
influence the decision up to the last minute. I will send out my
last weblog on the morning of November 3rd, the official day
of voting.

Contact your email chain!

Also, and this may sound primitive… talk to people! Ask people
you meet, “Hey, how about that Prop 14, the Stem cell
Initiative?â€

Share some enthusiasm — this is incredible stuff!

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to know
everything before you speak. Think of all those people who know
nothing, but still talk constantly — what you have to say is
important!

Besides, you can never know everything about a subject as vast
and ever-changing as stem cell research,

If somebody asks you a question but you don’t know the answer,
just admit it.

“Good question, I don’t know — but go to the
campaign’s website—www.caforcures.com, they will know.â€

How important is a suggestion from a stranger? Very. If people
do not know an issue, they could make up their mind because one
person who took the trouble to bring it up. Everyone likes
enthusiasm — they will care because you care.

Sometimes I say, “Hey, they’re fighting back against cancer,
paralysis Alzheimer’s — all that stuff. If it hurts people,
they’re fighting it!â€

But maybe you live in another state, so you can’t vote on
Prop14? Write a letter or email to your friend/relation who does
live in California, tell him/her to be sure and vote YES on Prop
14 — don’t forget, Prop 14, that’s a big yes on 14!!!

I make it a commitment to talk to at least one person a day
about Prop 14 — not much! But if the vote totals get close,
think how valuable that single vote could be.

Never forget 2000, when the Presidency was decided by just 538
votes, and we got George Bush instead of Al Gore? Every vote
matters — and yours could be the one that takes us over
the top!

Also, never be afraid to ask a busy person! The worst you can
get is a no — and you might get a yes from someone who really
knows what they are doing.

For instance, I love to see statements of support from CIRM
board members, arguably the busiest folk on the planet.

One said:

“Several of you have asked me why I am in favor of Prop 14,
and I thought you might be interested in my rationale. I’m
writing this as a California scientist and researcher… (For full
disclosure, I am on the board of CIRM).

“Prop. 14 is about authorizing $5.5 billion to keep our stem
cell research program going. This is critical: to bring this
innovative science all the way to patients is a very challenging
endeavor: requiring cutting edge research, complex manufacturing,
regulatory approval, etc.

“Public money is essential because the risks are too high for
a classical Venture Capital funding model. If government does not
step in, very little will happen.

“The CIRM has a variety of people on its board: academics,
industry executives, patient advocates… I really believe that a
public agency like them can make good decisions with
public money…

“CIRM’s track record is impressive, including 2 FDA approved
drugs and 64 clinical trials. (See full list at https://www.cirm.ca.gov/clinical-trials.)

“So a lot more is coming, but it just takes time. A few
examples: Phase 3 trials in ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Phase 2
in Retinitis Pigmentosa, etc.

“In sum, this measure will serve important unmet medical
needs. â€œ

— Anne-Marie Duliege, MD, board member, CIRM.

Anne-Marie
DuLiege, CIRM board member

Remember the great Helen Keller, blind and
deaf, but a champion advocate for research and human rights?

Helen
Keller, an inspiration for all time.

She said: “I long to accomplish a great and noble task. But it
is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great
and noble.â€

Which reminds me of a story…

It was the first day I met Bob Klein, inventor of the stem
cell program.

Bob
Klein, fighting to fund stem cell research

It was April, 2003. Bob walked with me back to meet some of the
Prop 71 campaign workers — three connected rooms full,
counters piled high with empty pizza boxes — and then he
rushed off for a phone meeting.

I looked around at all these busy people, young, enthusiastic,
laughing as they did chores to make the stem cell program a
reality. I turned to a woman named Amy Daley and asked, was there
something I could do to help, right now?

And she said:

“We were supposed to have clipboards for the signature
gatherers, but they did not arrive. But we do have all these empty
pizza boxes — if somebody would take a razor blade and cut
the boxes into squares for backing…???

I went home with a blood blister on my thumb, but just
blissfully happy.

You should see all the great people I work with now, on the Prop
14 campaign — some of them just scary talented, and
modern-minded like you would not believe. They use phones like
super-computers — I can barely answer my little
flip phone.

But still I can do something.

And I will.

VOTE YES! on Proposition 14 — and ask a friend to do
the same.

1. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › pmc ›
articles › PMC5876976

2. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/costs/index.htm

3. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/costs/index.htm

4. https://www.cirm.ca.gov/our-impact/funding-clinical-trials

5. https://blog.cirm.ca.gov/tag/rmat/

Don C. Reed is the author of: REVOLUTIONARY THERAPIES: How the
California Stem Cell Program Eased Suffering, Saved Lives and
Changed the Face of Medicine Foreverâ€, World Scientific
Publishing, 2020.

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