I am a cancer survivor. I believe in science. She gave me the treatment that cured my Hodgkin lymphoma. But, I was lucky. I was diagnosed on time, I had a first-rate oncologist, the most modern treatment, excellent health insurance, and I could speak the language.
Today, cancer is the leading cause of death among Latinos, who struggle with both English and the devastating cost of the disease.
The Latino Cancer Institute helps families concerned about their loved ones and the uncertainty of how to find and pay for needed care. But to keep hope we take refuge in science.
We continue to learn through research for better treatments that hopefully reduce risk and death. We need more research, not less. In these difficult times of COVID-19, we are understanding that science matters, and that we also need more hope.
Stem cell research gives hope to those who are most at risk and have the fewest options to overcome disease. Esperanza was the only thing the parents of newborn Evie Padilla Vaccaro had when she was born without an immune system and would doubtfully reach two years old. A stem cell transplant saved his life.
Now stem cell research, with all that it promises, is on the California ballot. This November, Proposition 14 is a vote for hope and represents an opportunity for the millions with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, HIV, sickle cell disease and more to have a better life.
Even now, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), which was founded to manage and approve funding for stem cell research, has spent $ 5 million on finding safe COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. And CIRM is committed to ensuring that the investigation includes racial and ethnic minorities, such as Latinos, the community hardest hit by the COVID pandemic in California.
I understand that some have felt used and exploited by scientific research. And that’s why The Latino Cancer Institute exists. To commit, but also to protect. To raise crucial issues and oppose harmful ideas. To demand inclusion and opportunities. That is why I support Proposition14 and ask Latinos to do the same. We need better care, promising treatments, and hope – today more than ever! Today may not be the cure for your illness, but it could be for a family member, friend, or someone in the Latino community in the near future. Vote in favor of Proposition 14.