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Posted: 10/13/2004 12:57:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/13/2004 1:03:59 PM EDT by bladepusher]
Although I lurk more than post here I couldn't help but put this out there.

I got this in e-mail today. What a load of crap.

My name is (Name of the not so innocent removed) and I am 23 years old. I have not been able to move my legs, nor see the light of day in nearly nine years due to multiple sclerosis (MS) and, believe it or not, I'm getting a bit tired of it! I can't see the beautiful face of my new niece. I can't walk with her to the park, nor can I see the colors of fall or the night sky filled with stars. This predicament may seem like a physically daunting and an emotionally draining existence and, to be perfectly honest, at times, it is more than words can describe. However, in my heart, there remains an undying faith and optimism for the future. That is why it is becoming increasingly more difficult to sit idly by as our elected officials make a bipartisan mockery out of embryonic stem cell research. This research has the potential to cure everything from MS to spinal cord injuries to Parkinson's disease to Alzheimer's disease to Lou Gehrig's disease etc, etc. In fact, this could very well be the greatest medical breakthrough in our lifetime. Since millions of people are afflicted with a wide range of fatal and debilitating illnesses, and it may be within our power to put an end to this suffering, it is both heartbreaking and utterly frustrating when heartless/uninformed politicians and individuals pretend such a miracle is impossible.

There are many ways to obtain stem cells. To be very basic, imagine being struck with a dreadful disease, one with, perhaps, a life sentence. Instead of prescribing drugs, your doctor takes a few skin cells from your arm. The nucleus of one of your cells is placed into a donor egg whose own nucleus has been removed. A bit of chemical or electrical stimulation will encourage your cell's nucleus to begin dividing, creating new cells, which will then be placed into a tissue culture. Those cells will generate embryonic stem cells containing only your DNA, thereby eliminating the risk of tissue rejection. The new stem cells are then driven to become the very neural cells that are defective. Those cells with your DNA are injected into your brain where they will replace the faulty cells, which led to the disease in the first place. These embryonic stem cells can continue to replicate indefinitely and, theoretically, can recreate virtually any tissue in your body. No fetal tissue is involved in this process; no fetuses are created, none destroyed. It all happens in the laboratory at the cellular level.

Some individuals claim that interfering with the development of even the earliest stage embryo, even one that will never be implanted in a woman, and will never develop into an actual fetus, amounts to murder. They would therefore stand in the way of this remarkable future and deny the federal funding so crucial to basic research. They would even argue against the use of embryos from fertility clinics. Since these embryos are created solely for the purpose of infertile couples and in excess of 200,000 are simply discarded each year, this appears to be the greatest sin. How can we affirm life if we abandon those whose own lives are so desperately at risk? Is curing a terminal illness not also giving life? Stem cells are also found in umbilical cord blood and, with additional research, could provide "the gift of life" for millions more than the new bundle of joy.

Unlike the current President's stubbornness on this issue, John Kerry has pledged to provide federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and I hope you will keep this in mind when going to the polls on November 2nd. It could one day be your parent, child, or spouse needing the magic of stem cells. I'm told that a parent witnessing the pain in their child's eyes and being unable to provide any source of comfort is the most heart-wrenching experience. Wouldn't you do everything in your power to help your loved one? It would be great if you would forward this letter to anyone who might be persuaded that this is our opportunity to take a giant stride forward for the good of all humanity.

Thank you,

Name of the not so innocent removed

They'll try just about anything, won't they.
Link Posted: 10/13/2004 12:59:31 PM EDT
I get them all the time.

Either I hit delete or I respond with a few choice words.

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