It’s a heady milestone, though the goal is still a ways off toward the horizon.
HEADing to 2022, a Canadian-led medical research contingent with strong St. Albert connections, recently surpassed the $500,000 mark as it barrels toward collecting $22 million within the next two years. 2022 will be the 100th anniversary of the first successful injection of insulin and Edmonton’s Dr. James Shapiro is hoping to celebrate the occasion in the best way possible:
By curing the disease.
Since the season of giving is upon us, HEADing (Help Eliminate All Diabetes) committee member Doug Ritzen said there is one gift that could go farther and help more people – including yourself – than any other.
“There's a lot of people that start thinking about other things and what they do the rest of the year, and they start thinking about people in need, especially this time of year when people need all sorts of things to enjoy Christmas or just to get advances in life so they live better,” he began.
“Ultimately, there's a lot of people that look at donating. You need to donate by the end of the year if you want a charitable donation tax receipt.”
As of Thursday, the campaign had brought in $560,444.30 and more than $500,000 of that has already been disbursed to Dr. Shapiro and his team to help with their efforts.
The campaign is focused on getting 1 million people to donate $22 each. The funding would further Shapiro’s research into taking the diabetic’s own stem cells and returning them to their embryonic stage before regrowing them as islet cells to be injected back into the diabetic. This prevents the risk of rejection, which is the primary problem with other islet cell transplants.
Diabetes affects nearly half a billion people worldwide, and led to 4.2 million deaths last year alone. It comes with heart disease, stroke, chronic kidney failure, foot ulcers, cognitive impairments, and other serious health conditions.
“I think we've shed enough tears. It's time for a Diabetes cure,” Ritzen exclaimed.
People can visit the website at HEADingto2022.com for more information and to make online donations.