Monday, April 30, 2012

Avery's Bucket List: Why we do what we do

I encourage you all to read Avery's Bucket List: My Bucket List.  The parents of an infant suffering from a genetic disorder called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) have created a blog and bucket list of items they would like their daughter to accomplish during her anticipated 18-month life expectancy.  Some, like playing with a pinwheel, are easy for them to fulfill. Others, like throwing out a first pitch, were made possible with the help of others and outside organizations.  This family is suffering, but trying to make the most of every minute their child has before she deteriorates to the point where she ends up on a ventilator and outings become more difficult. 

What inspired you to pursue a career in research?  Were you hoping to cure cancer or some other awful disease?  Let this situation be a reminder to you of why you do what you do every day.  Whether it is working toward curing a devastating disease, or trying to find ways to slow the spread of malaria in underdeveloped countries, ultimately your research will impact society and individual lives.  Hopefully, in little Avery's case, there are researchers inspired to focus on finding treatments and a cure for SMA that will at the very least give parents more than 18 months with their child. 

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