Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dear Tom Barrett: Please stop exploiting my disease

As a juvenile onset diabetic, I find Tom Barrett’s ad exploiting juvenile diabetes and claiming “Scott Walker says he would ban stem cell research” annoying and offensive at best. His statement is an outright lie, and I really wish politicians like Barrett would stop exploiting my disease for political gain.

Despite the purported medical promises of embryonic stem cells, they have so far have yielded no results. Adult stem cells, rather, are already being used by doctors to restore vision and vocal functions, increase movement and walking ability in spinal cord injury patients, and improve pumping performance in cases of heart-failure. In fact, more than 50,000 patients are helped with adult stem cell treatments every year; this is the type of research Scott Walker promises to fervently support!

If the mother of the son with juvenile diabetes in Barrett’s ad were to ask me “How can you be against hope?” I would encourage her to look at the facts. Proven results, tremendous potential, and reason to hope have already been found in research from adult stem cells. I urge that mother, and anyone similarly affected by a chronic disease, to vote for Scott Walker, the candidate who supports the research possessing the most hope to someday cure me, and her son.