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[IP] Re: World AIDS Day


Here is the letter I sent to the powers that be.  Feel free to copy all
you want.  Hopefully my letter, along with all of the others posted
here, will stimulate everyone on this list to write, too.  For those of
you that can't get the creative juices flowing, just cut and paste and
*write* your own letter!  :-)

> I am compelled to respond to an article I read about World AIDS Day.  My
> initial reaction was amazement.  Now that the numbness has worn off, I
> am angry.  Very angry.  What I gathered from the article is that the NIH
> will now be spending just as much money overseas on AIDS research as its
> entire budget for diabetes research.  
> $400 million dollars is the total budgeted for diabetes research and
> $1.8 billion is budgeted for AIDS research. Yet diabetes killed 187,000
> Americans in 1997 versus 17,000 AIDS related deaths.  More than 16
> MILLION Americans have diabetes while not even ONE million have AIDS. 
> And the direct medical costs of diabetes outpaces the direct medical
> costs of AIDS 9 to 1.  Please explain the logic here...WHY is more money
> (4.5 times more) being spent on AIDS research than diabetes research,
> when diabetes affects far more Americans and costs this country far more
> in medical costs?  And why are more of my American taxpayer dollars
> being spent overseas in the effort to find a cure for a disease that
> affects such a small percentage of the American population?  Call me
> selfish, but I don't one cent of my money being spent on any other
> disease anywhere else in the world until diabetes research funding is
> given a much higher priority than it now receives.
> Insulin and blood sugar testing are not cures for diabetes, they are
> merely life-support.  And painful life-support at that.  My daughter was
> diagnosed with diabetes when she was 3 years old. She is now 5 years old
> and has endured over 4,600 'finger pokes' and over 2,100 shots in less
> than two years.  Ever since her diagnosis with diabetes, my daughter has
> had to submit to painful shots and finger pricks on a daily basis just
> to remain alive. My daughter, along with thousands of other children
> and adults with Type I diabetes, will never outgrow the disease, and
> cannot be treated with pills.  All people with Type I diabetes face a
> lifetime of multiple daily injections, finger pricks, and pain just to
> stay alive, unless there is a cure for diabetes.
> And all the insulin injections and finger pricks that she has to endure
> still don't guarantee that my daughter will not fall prey to the
> terrible complications of diabetes.  She faces the risks of having her
> legs amputated, losing her sight, losing kidey function and submitting
> to kidney dialysis...
> The NIH budget has gotten progressively skewed as the years have
> passed.  All diseases deserve funding for cures, but the funding should
> be proportionate to the costs of those diseases, not to the most vocal
> group.  Please give diabetes research the attention and funding that it
> deserves.  Please help give my daughter a better chance at beating this
> terrible disease by increasing funding for a cure.
> Sincerely,
> Kasey Sikes
> PO Box 60474
> Savannah, GA 31420
Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/