Yesterday was long, but very informative. We heard from 3 different researchers about Gene Therapy, Stem cells, and Biomarkers. Did you know that they have found a way to make 'embryonic stem cells' using the skin cells on your arm?! Pretty amazing. And Gene therapy is being studied as a possible mechanism for neural protection and transplantation. They are also in the process of researching biomarkers for clinical trials. These biomarkers will essentially make it possible to detect PD before symptoms occur, which could get patients treatment earlier and possibly slow progression, and who knows - maybe avoid symptoms all together??? Wouldn't that be fabulous!
We also heard from U.S. Senator Mark Udall from CO. His father had PD for 10 years before his passing. He is a huge activist in the Parkinson's World.
Today we will be in our State groups, learning more about the research being done and what funding needs are out there for continued progress in finding a cure. This will prepare us for our trip to Capital Hill tomorrow where we will speaker to our state congressmen.
This experience has been so empowering and we have learned so much already. But the biggest thing I have learned, and definitely most important, is that EVERYONE has a story. And EVERYONE has a voice that needs to be heard. There are so many amazing people here just looking for answers for their friends, family member, themselves. They are all strong. We as a Parkinson's community are lucky, blessed, and privileged to have such compassionate people be the voice of all of us. God is good and in control and I am thankful for that!