A Horse We Can Bet On

“It seems that if you want something donearound here, you gotta do it yourself!”

I don’t know who first uttered that phrase,or from which movie, book, or politician itcame. But it is a cliché firmly embedded inour lexicon.

Those have always been words of wisdomfor Lee Iacocca.

Iacocca, as you are well aware, made a namefor himself rescuing the Chrysler Corporationand reversing its fortunes. He also headedthe largest private-public deal in history—the $540 million restoration of the Statue ofLiberty and Ellis Island in the 1980s.

Today, finding a diabetes cure is the nameof Iacocca’s game (see ‘Spare $10 for aDiabetes Cure?’). And sincethe U.S government and many diabetesorganizations with whom Iacocca hasworked don’t seem driven enough in findingone, he suggests that maybe, just maybe,we’re gonna have to do it ourselves.

Personal Connection Fuels a PassionateFight

Now, you may be asking, “Why Lee Iacoccaand diabetes?”

No, Iacocca does not have diabetes.However, in May 1983, his wife, Mary K.Iacocca, died as a result of complicationsassociated with type 1.

Like many of us touched by this disease,Iacocca started sending his money todiabetes organizations that told him yearafter year that a diabetes cure was ‘justaround the corner.’

More than 20 years and millions ofdollars later, however, Lee Iacocca finallyrealized that those words were just a lot ofbureaucratic smoke and mirrors.

Along Comes Denise Faustman

Then, in November 2003, Denise Faustman,MD, PhD, a little-known Massachusettsresearcher, discovered a way of reversingtype 1 without the need for anti-rejectiondrugs.

She accomplished this by injecting spleencells from healthy donor mice into mice thathad naturally developed type 1. The type1 was reversed in the mice—even in thosenear death—and not one of them needed ananti-rejection drug (as is the case with islettransplantation).

The mainstream medical community maynot have been impressed, but Iacocca was.And he wants you to be impressed, too. Infact, he wants you on his team.

$10 for a Diabetes Cure?

Iacocca is asking all of us to send $10 to getFaustman and her team started on the $11million clinical trials. He figures there areabout two million people with type 1 in thiscountry. If half of them contribute just $10,the $10 million is raised. The other $1 millionwill come out of Iacocca’s pocket.

Iacocca promises that all of the moneywill go to translating Faustman’s researchin people with type 1. Not to coveradministrative expenses. Just for pureresearch.

I’m sending in my $10. And I’m also sending$10 for every person I have ever met whodied from diabetes complications.

I think all of you should, as well. As Iacoccasays in this month’s interview, “This looks likea horse we can bet a little bit of money on.Not the farm, but a little bit of money.”

Scott King
Editor-in-Chief
29 Years with Diabetes

Go to www.diabeteshealth.com to email Scott

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