When a mother says “I’ve never heard my son speak, never heard him tell me he loves me” it’s hard not to feel deeply moved.
Those are the words that Jennifer Bidlovski used to describe her son Milo, who has a severe form of autism spectrum disorder, in a video presentation she made to our Board at it’s meeting last week.
Jennifer made the video as part of our Spotlight on Disease presentation at the meeting. These Spotlights are important opportunities for us to update the Board on the research that is being done in specific disease areas, but it’s also an important way of connecting them with the people who are waiting for stem cell therapies, who are looking to us to help them or their loved ones.
We all need to be reminded from time to time why we do what we do. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day business around the office and lose sight of our ultimate goal – finding treatments and cures for currently incurable diseases.
Jennifer helped remind us why we are here. To help parents like her. To help children like Milo. Jennifer says she feels like her son has been stolen from her. Through the work we fund we hope to be able to help her find him.
The other segment of last week’s Spotlight presentation featured Alysson Muotri, a scientist from the University of California at San Diego who discussed his research using stem cells to create laboratory models of various types of autism spectrum disorder. We will post that video shortly.