California Cures! How the California Stem Cell Program is Fighting Your Incurable Disease! by @diverdonreed #TuesdayBookBlog #bookish #bookreview #stemcell

April 10, 2018

 

Title: California Cures! How the California Stem Cell Program is Fighting Your Incurable Disease!

Author: Don C. Reed

Genre: Medicine, Stem Cell Research, Sciences

 

Book Blurb:

Thirteen years ago, America faced an epidemic of chronic disease: cancer, paralysis, blindness, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and more.

 

But California voters said "YES!" to a $3 billion stem cell research program: the awkwardly-named California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Born into battle, the scrappy little state agency was immediately blocked by three years of anti-science lawsuits — but it defeated them all. And then?

 

A quiet triumph. With a focused intensity like the Manhattan Project (but for peaceful purposes, not to build a bomb), scientists funded by CIRM took on the challenges: disease and disability called chronic: incurable.

 

In a series of connected stories, accurate though written to entertain, "California Cures" relates a war: science against disease, with lives on the line. Think what it means for a paralyzed young man to recover the use of his hands, or for a formerly-blind mother to see her teenaged children — for the first time!

 

Do you know the "bubble-baby" syndrome? Infants without a proper immune system typically die young; a common cold can kill. But for eighteen babies in a stem cell clinical trial, a different future: they were cured of their disease.

 

No one can predict the pace of science, nor say when cures will come; but California is bringing the fight. The reader will meet the scientists involved, the women and men behind the microscope, and share their struggle.

 

Above all, "California Cures" is a call for action. Washington may argue about the expense of health care (and who will get it), but California works to bring down the mountain of medical debt: stem cell therapies to ease suffering, and save lives.

 

Will California build on success — and invest $5 billion more in stem cell research?

 

"We have the momentum", says author Don C Reed, "We dare not stop short. Chronic disease threatens everyone — we are fighting for your family, and mine!"


Contents:

  • Introduction: Evangelina and the Golden State

  • The Absolute Minimum You Need to Know First

  • To Breathe, or Not to Breathe

  • The Strongest Man in the World

  • When the Dolphin Broke My Ear

  • The Boy with Butterfly Skin

  • The Great Baldness "Comb-Over" Replacement?

  • "He Sees! He Sees!"

  • Cop at the Window

  • "Go West, Young (Wo)Man" — To a Biomed Career?

  • And How Will You be Paying for that New Heart?

  • The Answer to Cancer?

  • A Political Obstacle to Heart Disease Cure?

  • Your Friend, the Liver!

  • "Bring 'em Back Alive"

  • The Color of Fat

  • Revenge for My Sister

  • A Story with No Happy Ending?

  • Aging and Stem Cells

  • The "Impending Alzheimer's Healthcare Disaster"

  • President Trump's Great Stem Cell Opportunity

  • Leiningen's Ants and Parkinson's Disease

  • On the Morality of Fetal Cell Research

  • Democracy and Gloria's Knees

  • Three Children, and the Eternal Flame

  • Autism, Mini-Brains, and the Zika Virus

  • Why "The Big Bang Theory" Matters to Me

  • Musashi and the Two-Sword Solution

  • "The Magnificent Seven"

  • The Connecticut Commitment

  • In Memory of Beau

  • To Relocate Alligators, or Turn a Country on to Biomed?

  • Whale Sharks and Outer Space

  • Mr Science Goes to Washington?

  • When Oklahoma is Not OK

  • James Bond and Melanoma

  • Neurological Diseases vs. California

  • Driving to the Storm

  • Door into Tomorrow

  • Stem Cell Battles — On Times Square?

  • Annette, Richard Pryor, and Multiple Sclerosis

  • Mike Pence, and Reproductive Servitude

  • Motorcycle Wrecks and Complex Fractures

  • Even Dracula Gets Arthritis

  • Tugboat for Cure

  • Wheelchair Warriors, Take Back Your Rights!

  • Sickle Cell Disease vs. Stem Cell Agency

  • Dwight Clark, "The Catch," and A L S

  • A Friend is Lost

  • Dying in Doonesbury, Fighting Back at UCD

  • The Man with the Autographed Baseball

  • The Gorilla Gynecologist Returns

  • Wrestling the Invisible Enemy

  • Two Warriors Named Joan

  • An End to Heroism?

  • Message from the Middle Kingdom

  • Scientists and the Undocumented

  • The Girl, the Bandit, and Women in Science

  • The Greatest Proposal

  • Forty-Two California Clinical Trials

  • Gathering of Champions

  • Goodbye, Hello!

  • The Answer

  • A Nobel Prize for Bob Klein?

  • Afterword: For More Information

  • Personal Message

  • Index

 

My Review:

This book is so unlike the typical medical book.  The reader isn't bogged down in myriad medical terms and lost in bone jarringly long chapters.  This author's prolific writing has been put to good use as this book is imminently readable.  The short chapters make it very approachable.  The personal touch that almost every chapter captures makes this not a dry tome but a living, breathing thing.  

 

The work done explaining the incredible possibilities already achieved and yet to come via stem cell research is brilliantly presented.  If there is one lesson from this book full of lessons it would be that this research isn't the salve for all of societies problems...it is the oil that powers the machine of incredible research that can then help solve the problems.

 

The reason a book of such advocacy is needed is the moralistic cloud that pervades this life saving research.  'Well intentioned' people hoping to protect life are potentially roadblocks in so many ways that lives could be saved, improved or lengthened.

 

I can only offer my hope that the 2018 proposition brings more funding to this critically needed research.  A powerful book that should be read by every person who knows someone suffering from disease, aging or simply living.

 

Brilliant, a masterpiece that clearly argues the case for increased stem cell research everywhere.

 

My Rating: 5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/California-Program-Fighting-Incurable-Disease/dp/981323136X/

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/California-Program-Fighting-Incurable-Disease/dp/981323136X/

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/California-Program-Fighting-Incurable-Disease/dp/981323136X/

 

Publisher Buy Link http://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/10747

 

Publisher http://www.worldscientific.com/

 

 

Author Biography:

For Don Reed, the inspiration for the work he does is the people he works with and for. Reed is often called the “Grandfather of Stem Cell Research Advocacy”, and has been in the eye of the storm of stem cell research and advocacy since before the passage of Proposition 71, having worked at grassroots, national, international, and state levels to garner public support and advocating for policy action.

 

Reed’s involvement with stem cell research began after his son Roman was in a paralyzing football accident in 1994. The Reeds pursued multiple treatments and clinical trials nationally and internationally, and in their process of searching for spinal cord injury treatments for Roman, Don was led towards stem cell research. In a pre-computer era, he wrote to every member of the United States Senate and Assembly. Receiving no response, he then reached out to every member in the California Assembly and Senate. Assembly member John Dutra, (D-Fremont, retd.) responded, and the Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act (AB 750), a research funding law, was passed in 1999 and funded America’s first embryonic stem cell therapy.

 

In 2002, Reed organized grassroots support for California Senator Deborah V. Ortiz  (D-Sacramento, retd.) to pass the nation’s first stem cell research laws, giving California official permission to perform both embryonic stem cell research and somatic cell nuclear transfer.

 

His contribution to stem cell research and advocacy grew when he joined forces with Bob Klein in 2003. Klein’s leadership brought the passage of $3 billion California initiative, Proposition 71, the California Stem Cells for Research and Cures Act, which became the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Reed worked first as a volunteer, and later became vice President for Public Policy for Americans for Cures Foundation, a position he holds today.

 

Awards and Recognitions: Reed has won numerous advocacy awards, including the first patient advocate award from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the Willie Shoemaker Award for advancing spinal cord injury awareness, the first Genetic Policy Institute Advocate of the year Award, and various writing and teaching awards, including “Teacher of the Year” for Fremont Unified School District, and the National Press Award.

 

As a writer, he is best known for approximately 200 articles on stem cell politics for the Huffington Post, and as the author of the book, “STEM CELL BATTLES: Proposition 71 and Beyond”. Reed also wrote five books about the ocean, based on his 17 years as a scuba diver for Marine World Africa USA.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.stemcellbattles.com/

 

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/diverdonreed

 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stem-Cell-Battles-Proposition-71-and-Beyond/1641012769443938

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

 

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