For Immediate Release
October 15, 2004

Contact:
Julia Spiess
(w) 916-658-0144
(c) 916-601-8282




California Arthritis Foundation Council Endorses Proposition 71
Joins broad coalition determined to bring cures to California

(SACRAMENTO) — The California Arthritis Foundation Council (CAFC) today announced its endorsement of Proposition 71 the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative.  Proposition 71, which will appear on the November 2004 ballot, provides funds needed for the development of lifesaving therapies and cures for diseases that could save the lives of millions of California children and adults while reducing health care costs.     

“Arthritis disables more Californians than any other disease,” said Arthritis Foundation Chair of Advocacy and Southern California Board Member Tom Murphy.  “The link between the life saving potential of stem cell research and arthritis is not widely recognized.  Proposition 71 will provide the much needed funding to make the promise of new cures and treatments a reality for individuals with arthritis and other chronic diseases.”

In California, 28 percent of adults have arthritis or chronic joint symptoms of arthritis.  The estimated cost of arthritis and other rheumatic conditions to the state exceeds $11 million.  (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Nationally, the Arthritis Foundation supports human embryonic stem cell research to potentially alleviate human suffering, particularly as it relates to arthritis and related diseases through increasing lines available for publicly funded research.

CAFC is the public policy arm of the California Arthritis Foundation chapters, which are located in San Diego, Southern California, Northern California and Northeastern California.  The Arthritis Foundation is the only national not-for-profit organization that supports the more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions with advocacy, programs, services and research. 

CAFC joins a coalition benefiting an estimated 128 million Americans that suffer from diseases and injuries that could be treated or cured with stem cell therapies including Nobel Prize-winning scientists and medical experts, families involved in patient advocacy and efforts to cure diseases, and organizations including the California Medical Association, American Nurses Association of California, Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the Parkinson’s Action Network. 

Proposition 71 was developed by a coalition of California families and medical experts determined to close the stem cell research funding gap.  Currently, there is no state level funding for stem cell research and political roadblocks have severely limited federal funding for some of the most promising types of stem cell research. Proposition 71 steps forward to provide the needing funding for lifesaving stem cell research, requires strict fiscal and public accountability, protects and benefits the state budget, and includes strict ethical deadlines. 
More information on Prop can be obtained at www.YesOn71.com.  
 

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Paid for by YES on 71: Coalition for Stem Cell Research and Cures, #1260661
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