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JDF Washington Report
Volume IV, No. 5
April 11, 2001

TO: All JDRF Advocates Across the Country
FROM: Leah J. Mullin, Chair, Government Relations Committee


We need your help! President Bush will make a decision very soon regarding federal funding of research using stem cells derived from surplus eggs created for the purpose of in vitro fertilization. JDRF strongly supports this area of research because of the potential ability for scientists to turn these cells into insulin-producing cells.

At this time, pressure is mounting on President Bush to stop the federal funding of this vital area of research that offers hope to the more than 16 million Americans who suffer from diabetes.

The stories of patients and their families are vital in providing President Bush and Members of Congress with the information that they need to make this decision. Therefore, we are asking you to contact President Bush and your Members of Congress today and ask them to support all forms of stem cell research.

We are asking that you contact them in two ways:

  1. Write a Letter

    • Please visit the website of the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research, of which JDRF is a founding member, at Here you will be provided with a sample letter that may be edited and either faxed directly to President Bush and your Members of Congress or printed out and mailed to them.

    • If you choose to send President Bush a handwritten letter, please address it to:

      President George W. Bush
      The White House
      1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
      Washington, DC 20500

      When writing your letters, you can use the talking points listed at the end of this article to assist you. Donít forget to tell your personal story about living with diabetes and why a cure is so important to you and your family.

  2. Make a Phone Call

    After your letter has been faxed or printed from the website,, you will be provided with the contact information for the White Houseís Office of Public Liaison and your Members of Congress. Please take a moment to follow up your letter with a phone call to restate your support of stem cell research.

    • When calling your Members of Congress, ask for the Legislative Assistant who handles health issues. When you reach that person, please use the talking points listed below. If the individual is not available, please leave a voicemail message. Of course, remember to be polite, brief, and respectful of his/her time.

    • When calling the Office of Public Liaison at the White House (202-456-2380), be prepared to leave a brief voice mail message using the talking points listed below. If your call is answered, ask to leave a message for Lezlee Westine, the Director of Public Liaison and make the following points:

      Talking Points for Letters and Phone Calls:

      • Please tell your personal story about living with diabetes and why the federal funding of stem cell research is important to you and your family. Your personal stories will make the greatest impact!

      • Stem cells derived from surplus eggs created for the purpose of in vitro fertilization have the ability to grow into any tissue or organ in the body (yet cannot develop into a full human being), and therefore hold promise for major breakthroughs and cures for diseases and conditions such as juvenile diabetes, Alzheimerís and Parkinsonís disease, cancer, heart disease, spinal cord injury, and many others. This is crucial to juvenile diabetes research due to the potential ability of scientists to turn these cells into insulin-producing cells.

      • Because the eggs from which stem cells are derived are in excess of clinical need and would otherwise be frozen indefinitely or discarded, this should not be viewed as a right-to-life issue. Rather, this type of research is analogous to organ and tissue donation.

      • Some have argued that adult stem cells offer equal or greater promise to researchers than stem cells derived from surplus eggs created for the purpose of in vitro fertilization. However, experts in this field of research agree that it will take years of further study to determine the therapeutic potential of adult stem cells and the early indications of the outcome of such research suggest that adult-derived stem cells do not have the same capacity for proliferation as those obtained from in vitro fertilized eggs.

      • Public funding of this research will allow more oversight and the issuance of regulations to prevent potentially ethical abuses. If this research continues only in the private sector, there will be virtually no oversight. Moreover, limiting this research to the private sector alone will slow the pace of the science since, due to intellectual property protections, less information will be available to our nationís most prominent academic researchers working in this area.

Thank you for your support of this issue!

To find more information about stem cell research and the promise that it holds for juvenile diabetes research, please go to

If you have any questions, please contact Kristen Lee in the JDRF Government Relations office at 800-533-1868 x22 or

We will continue to update you as we learn of further developments.


For More Information on Stem Cell Research

Posted 15 April 2001

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Last Updated: Thursday February 27, 2014 19:28:21
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