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Diabetic Cure News! Oct 15 2008


A bit more after this letter………

Dear supporters and friends,

I am pleased to share that we have reached our fundraising goal of $10 million for Dr. Faustman’s project at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). It has been an exciting journey since we accepted the challenge of raising this critical funding for the first phase of Dr. Faustman’s BCG Human Clinical Trial.

As most of our supporters know the Iacocca family has been funding type 1 research for more than 25 years.  Over the years all funding has been through they family’s private foundation funds until 2004 when we created JoinLeeNow, the campaign to expand Dr. Faustman’s regeneration research from the lab to human clinical trials.

Now that we have reached this important milestone we have made the decision to stop actively fundraising through what has become The Iacocca Foundation/ for type 1 diabetes – a public charity.  We will be accepting donations through December 31, 2008 when we will make our final committed payment to Dr. Faustman.

As we look to the future we remain committed as always to being part of a cure for type 1diabetes.  The Iacocca family will continue to fund the brightest and best who are dedicated to ending this disease.  And we hope you will turn your time and resources to continue to support Dr. Faustman directly as she and her team at Massachusetts General Hospital prepare to launch a campaign to raise funding for the Phase II BCG clinical trials.

Our dedication to find a cure was born out of the loss of Mary K. Iacocca a loving wife and mother who died of diabetes complications more that 25 years ago.  Today we are comforted that together we have been instrumental in bringing new hope and a potential cure closer to a reality.

Thank you for your trust and support,
KATHRYN – signature

Kathryn Iacocca Hentz

Every campaign has many approaches to success and the
State Captains have been a key component of the JoinLeeNow campaign.  Since 2004 when we launched this campaign it has
been our pleasure to work with all the parents, family members
and passionate supporters.  Together you raised almost $500,000 since the launch of the campaign and most importantly reminded
us each day why this project was so important!


When Dr. Denise Faustman came to the Iacocca foundation in 1995 her application was for $250,000 to investigate a project she described  as -“A research program with human diabetic lymphocytes from Type I diabetics to see if a pathway for autoreactivity that is interrupted in diabetic mice is similarly interrupted in diabetic humans.  This may lead to understanding how & why there is an attack of the islet cells in Type 1 diabetes.”

Thirteen years and $17 million dollars later, we are pleased to have been part of this important  research which proved that regeneration of in insulin producing cells is possible!   This area of research is now confirmed and expanded in many labs around the country.  This project took bold steps and your help and donations to make
it a reality.

Please click here to read the most recent press from Dr. Faustman’s lab and learn how you can  help support Massachusetts General Hospital and the campaign to take this research to the next level.


Allies Voice: Is Tsk, tsk JDRF. Are you acting responsibly?

I received an update to Dr. Faustman’s human trials to cure Type 1 diabetes. Dr. Faustman submitted a letter of intent to JDRF for permission to apply for a large grant for Phase II of human trials to cure diabetes. DENIED! Why? JDRF is teaming up with Discovery Health, Novo Nordisk, and Discovery Education to launch Young Voices: Life With Diabetes. The campaign headlines: Tell the Next President What Can Be Done to Put an End to Type 1 Diabetes! Is that why they denied Dr. Faustman’s request? Is JDRF making money off of these kids? You bet! Novo Nordisk is giving JDRF $10 for every video submitted. You, the jury, can decide: Is JDRF dedicated to curing Type 1 diabetes? JDRF is as much in the ‘business of diabetes” as their cohort, Novo Nordisk.

Dr. Denise Faustman’s pre-clinical research results have been published in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”. Her lab has demonstrated, for the fist time, the selective killing off of the autoreactive T cells associated with type I diabetes in 100’s of human blood samples of people with diabetes and with other autoimmune diseases. This is the first successful clear link translating Dr. Faustman’s protocol for reversing and curing diabetes in mice to humans.

The phase I human clinical trial has been underway since January of this year. Phase II is estimated to begin in the summer of 2009 based on available funds.

Dr. Faustman submitted a Letter of Intent to the JDRF at the beginning of this year. This letter requested permission to submit a full grant request for a large grant (approx. $2 million over 3 years) to help support the phase II human clinical trial work. The Letter of Intent was rejected by JDRF.

This was a great disappointment seeing that Dr. Faustman’s mice regeneration research had been successfully replicated by multiple independent labs, the progression of her research with the published pre-clinical results with human blood samples, and the current phase I human trial currently underway.

The phase II human clinical trial will be increasing frequency and/or intensity of dosing in order to kill off all of the targeted autoreacitve T cells. Phase II will be looking for effect of drug dosing and selective T-cell depleting. It is a critical phase.

The JDRF and Novo Nordisk “Young Voices” campaign is insulting. First off, the $10 bounty for each video is ‘capped’ at $25,000. JDRF will squander $25k in no time (and NOT for curing diabetes, either). As a person who’s lived 23 years with diabetes – I spent many of those years supporting JDRF. It is evident the only thing they’ve cured is the responsible promotion of good research. I don’t believe we can afford to put up with it any longer.

For more information on Dr. Faustman’s research to cure Type 1 diabetes please see:


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