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Christopher Reeve Stem Cell Support Letter

The Honorable Arlen Specter
Labor, Health & Human Services and
Education Appropriations Subcommittee
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Specter:

We believe in possibilities and the power of medical research to make them happen. As you know, on April 26th, Christopher Reeve will testify before Congress on a matter that is beyond a personal passion, on a matter upon which his entire future may rely – the vision and promise of stem cell research. Stem cell research has the potential to improve the lives of millions of Americans. Thus, we join our voices with that of Christopher Reeve in saying to the United States Congress, stem cell research must be supported by the federal government with the appropriate public scrutiny by the National Institutes of Health. The lives of countless Americans who suffer from a variety of devastating illnesses may depend upon it.

The future of medical research hinges on the ability of science to move forward at the fastest pace and highest level of opportunity. Although progress continues to be made in spinal cord injury research and countless other conditions that cause illness and disability in our population, much more still needs to be done. We believe this nation should explore all approaches that may lead to treatments or cures for diseases and disorders, including paralysis, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, cancer, ALS, heart disease, Alzheimer's, and multiple sclerosis. More productive and fulfilling lives for our country's citizens are at stake. In addition, such research could have a dramatic impact on the economy. For example, finding a way to delay the onset of Alzheimer's by just five years could save $50 billion annually in health care and related costs.

We strongly believe that federal funding of stem cell research represents the most effective and ethical way of moving this science forward. We applaud champions like you and Senator Tom Harkin and many others for recognizing the value and necessity of stem cell research, as well as the need to ensure that both strict ethical guidelines and a mechanism of public oversight are integrated with this research. Allowing this area of science to move forward within appropriate ethical guidelines affords us one of the best opportunities to find treatments and cures for diseases and disorders that affect millions of Americans.

Patient advocates and scientists alike have great hopes for the future. With a strong commitment of Congressional funds and oversight from the NIH, stem cell research can move forward appropriately, and perhaps one day Christopher Reeve and many other patients will be able to walk into your office and thank you. On behalf of the millions of patients and scientists represented by the undersigned organizations, we thank you for your efforts.

The following 107 organizations support Christopher Reeve and encourage Congress to ensure that stem cell research can move forward with proper oversight and guidelines.

AIDS Action
Alliance for Aging Research
Alpha One Foundation
ALS Association
American Association for Dental Research
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
American Association of Anatomists
American Association of Immunologists
American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American Dental Education Association
American Foundation for AIDS Research
American Gastroenterological Association
American Medical Association
American Parkinson Disease Association
American Pediatric Society
American Physiological Society
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
American Society for Cell Biology
American Society for Clinical Nutrition
American Society for Microbiology
American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
American Society for Reproductive Medicine
American Society of Hematology
American Society of Human Genetics
American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Americans for Medical Progress
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
Association of American Medical Colleges
Association of American Universities
Association of Independent Research Institutes
Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs
Association of Professors of Medicine
Association of Subspecialty Professors
Bay Area Bioscience Center
Biophysical Society
Boston University Medical Center
Canavan Research Fund
Cancer Treatment Research Foundation
Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation
Coalition of Advocates for Research on the Eye (CARE)
College of American Pathologists
Cooley's Anemia Foundation
Coriell Institute for Medical Research
Council of Graduate Schools
Endocrine Society
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Foundation Fighting Blindness
FRAXA Research Foundation
Friends of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
Genetics Society of America
Harvard University
International Foundation for Anticancer Drug Discovery
International Longevity Center – USA, Ltd.
International Myeloma Foundation
Interstitial Cystitis Association
Jeffrey Modell Foundation
Johns Hopkins University
Joint Steering Committee for Public Policy
Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International
Kidney Cancer Association
Lankenau Medical Research Center
Lombardi Cancer Center
Medical College of Wisconsin
Medical University of South Carolina
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America
National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research
National Alopecia Areata Foundation
National Association for Biomedical Research
National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges
National Childhood Cancer Foundation
National Coalition for Cancer Research
National Health Council
National Psoriasis Foundation
Oncology Nursing Society
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Parkinson's Action Network
Parkinson's Disease Foundation
Patients' Coalition for Urgent Research (CURe)
Prevent Blindness America
Project A.L.S.
The Protein Society
PXE International
Radiation Research Society
Research Society on Alcoholism
Research to Prevent Blindness
RESOLVE, National Infertility Association
Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation
Society for Pediatric Research
Society for Women's Health Research
The Genome Action Coalition (TGAC)
Treatment Action Group (TAG)
University of California, San Diego School of Medicine
University of Minnesota
University of Rochester Medical Center
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin-Madison
UPMC Health System
Washington University School of Medicine
Weill Medical College of Cornell University

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