Describing what life is like for Adalia is not an easy task. Progeria is a complex disease that involves more scientific and medical jargon than I have the ability to communicate to you – and writing about its potential cure will be just as difficult.
A few months ago I was on the Progeria Research Foundation’s website and saw a video of a TEDMED presentation by Doctor Francis Collins. He spoke about his journey to find cures for the over 4,000 diseases known to man, and, in particular, about the potential cure for Progeria. He also introduced a young man who has Progeria named Sam Berns. Sam spoke candidly about his battle with the aging disease; being involved in research and studies; how the disease has affected his life; and how he has, in many ways, already beaten it. If you have the time, I highly suggest that you watch it.
Dr. Collins, a geneticist and Director of the National Institute of Health, led an important study that could be the breakthrough we pray for – finding a potential cure.
As mentioned in one of my previous blogs, Progeria is caused by a particular cell that is a little different than it should be, mutated is how it was explained to me. What Collins discovered in his study is that, when you administer a cancer drug called Tipifarnib, these different cells become normal. The microscopic structure, that separates those with Progeria and those without Progeria, is no longer distinguishable.
They are currently performing the study on mice, which, when administered the drug, have been cured of cardiovascular disease. Though this study has not been proven to work on humans, it has shown promise.
Also interesting is the fact that this drug might be used to cure cardiovascular disease in adults as well. In fact, there is widespread belief that a cure for Progeria could mean a potential cure for aging. So, not only could doctors prevent those with Progeria from dying, but from dying for centuries.
What’s most important is the comfort knowing that doctors, scientists, and researchers are working around the clock to find cures for all of these diseases that affect so many people, young and old. It’s not just Adalia. Everyone is, in some way, shape, or form affected by these diseases.
I also wanted to say that the Progeria Research Foundation has played a key role in the progress towards understanding Progeria, and finding its cure. It is a terrific foundation that has accomplished so much in its 14 years of existence.
It’s exciting and promising to know that, through research and studies, they have made significant ground towards finding a cure for Progeria. So much so, that I feel confident they are knocking on the door of ridding the world of this terribly painful disease.