Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Cancer Research
 Today has been 4 months since Brian died. Needless to say it has been a difficult day.
This morning, I had the privilege of speaking with Dr. Dale Greiner of The University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Greiner took the time to explain his research to me. While his background is primarily in Diabetes research, his work offers promise to patients with Cancer, Diabetes, HIV, and other auto-immune diseases. 
                                                            Dr. Greiner
"Our laboratory is focusing on the development of “humanized” mice to study human T1D in collaboration with Dr. Leonard Shultz at The Jackson Laboratory. We have developed unique strains of mice that can be engrafted with functional human cells and tissues, including human islets and human immune systems. We are now using these mice to understand how human beta cells resist killing by a human autoimmune system in vivo, how human beta cells replicate and regenerate in vivo, how human autoreactive cells develop in a human diabetes-susceptible immune system, and how a human immune system targets and kills beta cells in vivo. These approaches are allowing us to understand and dissect mechanisms important in human T1D that cannot be studied directly in humans. Moreover, because these mice readily accept human cells and tissues, we are now using them to study human regenerative medicine, immunity, human-specific infectious agents and cancer."

Those of you who know me well know that my vegetarian soft-heart struggles with animal research. You also know that I would have done almost anything to save Brian, and that if risking the lives of 50 mice could have saved him, I would have done so in a second.

Next month Dr. Greiner will be honored as the first recipient of the Dr. Eileen L. Berman and Stanley I. Berman Foundation Chair Grant to research early detection and treatment of abdominal cancers including appendicial and peritonial cancer. He is one of only a few researchers world-wide focusing on these insidious forms of cancer.

Sadly, it is too late to help Brian. The cancer struck him so cruelly and left us with no viable treatments. Dr. Greiner's work, however, can save others from the same fate. This research can help with early detection, and offer the promise of new and patient-specific treatment options.

Dr. Greiner's work has become my hope. His research has become my charity of choice. Brian's death was senseless and cruel. If I can help spread the word about this promising research, and if by spreading the word, I can help raise funding for this research, then maybe I can be instrumental in finding a cure. Then maybe Brian's death will not have been for nothing.

Donations to Dr. Greiner's research can be made to:

The Diabetes Center of Excellence
attn: Lisa Hubacz, Administrator
55 Lake Avenue North, AC2-208
Worcester, MA 01605

Donations marked for cancer research will be earmarked specifically for this project.