By Don C. Reed

What legacy do we leave our children and grandchildren?

From me, not a lot: when I am gone my children and grand-kids will inherit whatever portion of my house that’s not mortgaged, that’s about it.

But one thing you and I together can leave, which the richest person on Earth does not currently possess—and that is long-term research for cure.

Imagine if you had a rapid-spreading cancer…?

I revere the memory of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. But she had pancreatic cancer, and now our greatest jurist is gone.

Every day I miss my wife Gloria.  But she also had cancer of the pancreas, and now we are separated, with only the hope of Heaven to sustain me.

But if we can pass Proposition 14, the California Stem Cell Research, Treatment and Cures Initiative of 2020, that will leave the greatest inheritance imaginable.

A legacy of cures.

It will be a long-term benefit for those you love, a gift from California.

All we have to do is pass Prop 14.

Here is how it works. The scientist needs funding to do the research. CIRM (short for California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, CIRM) makes that funding possible.

We  (CIRM) start the process, paying for the basic research, which pretty much nobody else will do.  The feds have money, but are super-cautious; private industry generally won’t come aboard until profits are strongly indicated.

We help at every step on the way: from the translational process (to find out if there is something usable here) to the early clinical trials, where brave volunteers try out the (FDA-approved) product or procedure.

At every step there are milestones, which must be met, or the funding stops.

And if at last, there seems something valuable, then the big guns step in, with the kind of massive investment only they can bring.

CIRM provides funding; without that, nothing happens. Remember pancreatic cancer?

Right now, CIRM-funded scientist Dr. John R. Cashman is working on a “drug-like chemical…PAWI-2, (which was) “tested on pancreatic cancer stem cells…(he found that) PAWI-2 successfully inhibited the growth of these cancer stem cells…” pancreatic cancer – The Stem Cellar

What if that had been available when my wife and Ruth Ginsberg had been fighting their cancer?

CIRM is irreplaceable—and Prop 14 will keep CIRM alive.

Prop 14 is non-political. Disease recognizes no ideological labels.

Prop 14 is  a bargain, costing every Californian roughly $5 a year, because its  funding is spread out over 40 years. You will feel no financial pinch, because it is paid for from the general fund.

Prop 14 is designed to help everyone. A committee of 17 people is responsible to find ways of making both research and cures accessible and affordable.

Bob Klein invented the California stem cell program. But he could not have done the first part (Prop 71) by himself, and the same holds true for Part Two—which is Proposition 14.

He needs your help, and I ask it too.

In these last few  hours, success will be won or lost.

Yesterday I had to stand two hours in a queue, a total waste of my life— but I converted three people to support Prop 14—which they had not heard about.

What if we lose– by a few short votes—by some outreach missed, some chore undone, some stranger whom we had the chance to influence, but did not?

This must not happen. There must not be a world without CIRM.

This is our time, make or break.  What can you do? Share this letter, please.

Is there a California relative you can call? Remind them to vote YES on Prop 14.

Who do you know with a chronic disease or disability? Call  them up.

Do you have an email list?  If so,  please, please, please—do an e-blast, reminding them to vote for Prop 14. For more information—

Because what greater gift could you give your family—than a legacy of cures?

VOTE YES! on Prop 14.

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