Dear Senator Shafer:
My name is James P. Kelly, and I am the director of the Cures 1st Foundation. As a paralysis patient and research advocate, I write to express my strong support for your Georgia Senate Resolution 148, the Saving the Cure Act.
Your bill sensibly advances the types of stem cell research that are showing the greatest medical promise. In addition to offering proven clinical benefits for Sickle Cell Anemia, Leukemia, Lymphoma, and radiation exposure, stem cells from umbilical cord blood and other non-embryonic sources offer safe, effective, and attainable solutions to many of mankind’s medical woes, including Diabetes I & II, Heart Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, and Stroke. They are superior to embryonic stem cells, which are difficult to manipulate in the laboratory, tend to form tumors and are routinely rejected when implanted.
You should know that I was an early supporter of embryonic stem cell research. I changed my position in 2002, not because of religious or moral concerns over the status of the human embryo, but because I believe that embryonic stem cell research siphons public resources away from more practical research and delays the finding of cures.
You should not be surprised that those with a vested financial interest in embryonic stem cell research are opposing your bill. They fear other stem cell research even more than they fear an outright ban, because success with adult and other non-embryonic stem cells threatens their government funding and devalues their patents. They will use any excuse to slow down, gut or kill your legislation.Â
On behalf of those with disability and disease who look to science with hope, I urge you to persevere in your efforts to advance non-embryonic stem cell research. Your Senate Bill 148 is an important step forward and has my wholehearted support. Thank you for your leadership.
James P. Kelly
The Cures 1st Foundation, Inc.