Stories of Hope

The Bonbright Family

About four years ago, my daughter Samantha's best friend Sam was diagnosed with type1 diabetes. Upon hearing the devastating news, our family rushed to Samıs side for support. I do not know what I expected to see when I arrived at the hospital. What I did see was Sam looking the same as always, except as our eyes met I realized things were definitely different; an element of pain and helplessness showed in Samıs small face that I would never forget. Most frustrating, is the fact that besides being supportive there is nothing you can do as a parent or friend to make the pain go away. Diabetes is a lifetime illness, and very complicated medicine, daily treatment placed in the wrong hands could be fatal. My only course of action was to educate my family and myself as fast as possible. Taking care of Samıs needs was first priority for all of us, my daughter, stood by Samıs side through this surreal metamorphosis. Samantha pricked her own finger for blood, she ate low sugar/carb ohydrate foods, and she even attended diabetes camp with Sam. Sam was very lucky to have a peer who celebrated his diabetes with him, and never once felt sorry for him. Normalcy is the key after diagnosis; Samantha helped provide that for him. More importantly, Samıs parents are fighting for a cure for diabetes. Every year through JDRF, Samıs mother and Academy award winning father orchestrate a huge gala fundraiser show casing Johnıs latest creation in film. John and Nancy raise thousands of dollars in Samıs honor. My point here is money alone does not make a difference for the individual. Money supports the group effort towards an overall cure for anyone diagnosed with diabetes. If money alone cured the individual, Sam would already be cured. People make the difference: We respect and honor John and Nancy for choosing to make such a huge contribution to life. I also honor them for their courage, and support through the years. As for Sam: Sam is the bravest individual we have ever met, our family is proud to have him in our lives. We love you Sam.

Speaking for my family, we hope any Californian reading this letter will vote yes on Prop 71 for embryonic stem cell research on Nov. 2nd 2004. We feel stem cell research is the only way our friend Sam and the hundred million other people with debilitating diseases will ever realize a cure. As a nation, we are blessed to have this innovative research at hand. For centuries, we have sacrificed human life for freedom. Freedom comes with a price, that price is sometimes war. By voting yes you are helping put an end to war, the war millions face each day as they struggle for life against disease.

Thank You, The Bonbright Family