Will you take your sick 6 month old baby boy to India for stem cell Therapy if you knew that it could help? I did. Three times, and I'm going to take him there for as long as it takes.
My question is, Prime Minister: Why should I have to bundle my sick little boy, his four year old sister as well as his 8 month old baby sister myself and my husband onto a very long flight to a developing country to find some of the most advanced Therapy there is available for treating a life threatening condition?
We all know that Australia has played a big part in stem cell research, we have a team of excellent researchers ready to prove their findings but unable to do so.
Simple answer to the question:
There is currently NO funding for early stage human trials into cord blood studies.
North America and Europe have dedicated government backed stem cell initiatives targeting diseases of significant burden. As a result many sponsored clinical trials of cell and regenerative therapies are under way. Why then is there a distinct lack of funding for early stage clinical research in Australia?
The funding argument needs work because if the Government funded
translational stem cell science from the bench to the clinic and our kids
and health system would benefit. Also costs of care and treatment would be
reduced as early intervention is likely to help more than later
intervention. The pharma industry will not fund it because stem cells are
difficult to patent and thereby charge a lot of money for. Stem cell
medicine can not only change the outcomes for so many sick children and
adults but at a much lower cost. It's a win/win for Australia and
Australians. We should be leading the world not dragging our feet behind the
We have many things to be grateful for in Australia- we are an extraordinarily
fortunate society - but we have our heads in the sand on stem cell medicine.
We are eroding our values and compromising our compassion by letting down
many Australians and their families who suffer unnecessarily. We should be
leading the world in delivering good science and medicine.
I am preparing to take my young family on another 8 week trip to India. It is no holiday. We sleep on the floor. We risk the health of our children. We expose our son to experimental treatment. We continue to do so because it is MAKING HIM BETTER. It is his only hope.
I am happy to pack my bags Prime Minister. But I want some answers. I am a citizen of Developed country. I want to know where is the funding into this very crucial Therapy that could change the lives of millions of children, families and individuals.
FUND early stage human trials into cord blood NOW.