Sunday, November 20, 2011

Where the research money goes...

This is a fluorescent microscope {Or so google tells me} and we saw one of these babies in the FOP lab. Our tour guide Ruth was understandably excited about this new tool as they are hard to come by because their price tag is over $150,000 dollars. Yes there were four zeros after that one-five. This machine is worth more than my house in today's market.

Ruth showed us how she processes the blood to gather cells for growing new cells for the research. She showed us where they stain the cells and examine them with the fluorescent microscope. We saw where they examine the mice and met a few of the other researchers. We heard about an awesome program called the "Tooth Fairy" program where we will send in Addi's baby teeth when they start falling out and they will be able to collect stem cells from the pulp in the baby teeth.

We were able to see and meet so many wonderful people in the FOP lab. People here are really excited about how close they are to answering so many questions. One thing that Dr. K said while they are there is that they finally have the FOP mouse they need and the other tools they need to start testing compounds for the treatment of FOP. Read more about our visit with Dr. Kaplan here.

When we were there they were all so excited with how hopeful things are. We got to meet Dr. Eileen Shore and she was delightful. She is a hard worker that is making a difference and I am so grateful for her efforts. As I met her and members of her team I kept asking them all the same thing to see what answers I would get. I told them,  "FOP families want this cure to get here SOON. What do you need to help speed up this process?" The answer they gave me is "people." They need people behind tools and spending time at leaving no stone unturned so that Addi gets a safe and effective treatment.

Addi's drawing from the heart is going toward research funds and more specifically research people because that is what they need. I am sooooo happy to announce that Katie's photo sessions that were held in conjunction with Addi's fundraiser rounded up $1,500.  We are looking forward to hearing the grand total from IFOPA at the beginning of next week and announcing the winners of our drawing. If you haven't had a chance to donate yet there is still time!! Donating is easy. Just click here and fill out the form, pay with credit card or paypal and then you are done.

I am so grateful for the kind hearts that are trying to help my baby girl. We are so close to having the answers and finding a way to protect Addi's future. Something that I loved about Addi's appointment is that Dr. Kaplan kept getting on the floor of the examination room and playing with Addilynn. He really has a love for children and enjoys entertaining them. After another one of these "play sessions" Addi was sitting in his lap when he looked up at his intern and said, "We have got to keep Addi this way." Later, Ruth said that it was so good that we came to the lab because it gives the researchers someone to think about as they are sifting through data.

The researchers working on the project have the tools and the motivation then need, but they need more people. Many hands make light work. Two heads are better than one. A one dollar donation from 50 people is $50 dollars that gets someone else in the lab. Whether your donation is big or small it makes a difference. Please donate to Addi's Drawing from the Heart. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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