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How many Republicans Does it Take to Veto a Lifesaver?
Pray That We May Never Know.
By Jerri Ann Lewis

As a person living with a life-threatening disease, I understand how other people fighting for their lives feel. Those people suffering from cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's, nerve damage, liver and kidney diseases, or Parkinson's disease and their loved ones should all understand how important scientific research could be to find hope for all of these diseases or disorders. How many of you know someone with one or more of these conditions? By researching stem cells we could find many answers for some of these ailments and, perhaps, many others.1

Since most of us are not scientists, the simplest way to explain stem cell research is that it could be a "personal biological repair kit'' designed to fit the specific medical problems of a person.2 In theory, stem cells could repair damage to organs, nerves, tissues, cells, and muscles. However, with the opposing views of our current administration, stem cells could continue to be only a theory. Without proper research and more funding, we may never know how beneficial it could be to our future.

My grandfather died as a result of Alzheimer's and my grandmother now suffers from it. My cousin finally succumbed to cancer at the age of 28 after fighting the disease for 18-years. Several of my family members are living with diabetes. My sister has a kidney disease and we both have a liver disease. Future medical breakthroughs could allow my sister and me to watch our young children have children of their own. However, President Bush does not approve of some of this research. Even though President Bush was the first President to fund this kind of medical research, he "put restrictions in place that dramatically undermine our efforts to find cures for diseases" because of politics and his moral beliefs.3 These views are hindering medical innovations that could possibly save the lives of children, spouses, mothers, fathers, and grandparents throughout the world.4

To quote Ron Reagan, son of late President Reagan, "We can choose between the future and the past, between reason and ignorance, between true compassion and mere ideology. This is our moment, and we must not falter."4 To all of those people suffering from the effects of a life-threatening illness, my thoughts are with you. My only hope is that voters will keep all of us in mind on election day. For the future of my loved ones and yours please vote against George W. Bush.

*Dedicated to my twin, Julie, Cousin Donna, and my Granny and Pa-paw. I love you all.

1 Stem Cell Research Foundation
2 Jim Morrill, "Reagan takes stem-cell advocacy to Democrats," Star-Telegram. July 28, 2004.
3 Quote by John Kerry, "First Lady Bashes Kerry Stem Cell Stance," Associated Press. August 9, 2004.
4 "Before Democrats, Reagan Urges Stem Cell Research," REUTERS. July 27, 2004.

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