WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Mary Tyler Moore, International Chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation (JDF), will testify Thursday, September 14, before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education in support of the government providing federal funding for stem cell research. Ms. Moore and JDF applaud the recently released National Institutes of Health (NIH) guidelines that will enable this to happen. Stem cell research offers hope to the more than 16 million Americans who suffer from diabetes because of the potential ability for scientists to turn stem cells -- the most basic building blocks of the human body -- into insulin-producing cells. "Supporting stem cell research with federal dollars is vital, and it's timely," Ms. Moore said. "With the pace of today's promising scientific advances, this research could finally open the door to the cure for diabetes." Earlier this year, the world witnessed an enormous breakthrough in Type 1, or juvenile, diabetes research as Canadian researchers successfully transplanted insulin-producing cells into seven individuals with Type 1. One of the major limitations of this research is that there is an insufficient supply of insulin-producing cells currently available for transplant. Researchers believe that stem cell research could play a critical role in overcoming this problem. Through her visibility as one of the most respected icons of television, Ms. Moore has raised the public's awareness about the devastation of diabetes, especially Type 1, the most serious and complicated form of diabetes. She has been International Chairman of JDF for more than 16 years. Advocating for the support of research to cure diabetes is an ongoing, personal commitment for Ms. Moore. She, herself, has Type 1 diabetes, having been diagnosed with the deadly disease more than 30 years ago. "Diabetes changes everything about a child's and a family's life," Ms. Moore said. "And to add to the day-in, day-out hassles of living with diabetes -- the balancing of diet, exercise, and insulin, the shots, the terrible episodes of low blood sugar, the weird feelings of high blood sugar -- is the knowledge that even if you do all you can to be as normal as possible, you're not, you're different, and you face the uncertainty of an adulthood visited upon by early blindness, kidney failure, amputation, heart attack or stroke." Ms. Moore believes that we must now capitalize on the opportunities provided by research and build a bridge from the laboratories to the bedsides of people with diabetes -- translating research advances into longer, healthier lives, and ultimately, a cure, for all who suffer from the disease. Ms. Moore lives in New York City with her husband, S. Robert Levine, MD, who also is a leading advocate and volunteer for JDF, Chairman of the JDF Clinical Affairs Advisory Committee, and a member of the organization's International Board Communications Committee. JDF is the world's leading nonprofit, nongovernmental funder of diabetes research. It was founded in 1970 by parents of children with diabetes. JDF's mission is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. Since its inception, JDF has provided more than $326 million to diabetes research worldwide. For more information, visit JDF's website: http://www.jdf.org or call 800-JDF-CURE.
SOURCE Juvenile Diabetes Foundation