KRAUSE’S GROVE, 2 Beach Road, Halfmoon, NY


1:00 PM TO 6:00 PM ~ RAIN OR SHINE

$30.00 per adult ticket at gate - $20.00 for children under 12

includes donation to Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

5 hour picnic with soda, beer, games, raffles, 50/50, live music




Abundant food and dessert being served 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Those who wish to join a pre-picnic motorcycle cavalcade around the beautiful Tomhannock Reservoir in Ali’s honor will meet at the Troy Plaza on Hoosick Street at 10:00 A.M. for sign up and the cavalcade will kick off at 11:00 A.M. sharp.

For more info: https://www.facebook.com/Rally4Ali

For Further Information


For the Run, Wally Urzan


For the Picnic & Cause

Alison Fisk


Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Doug Melton, PhD, and the other scientists and their work at HSCI are the main subjects of this week’s TIME Magazine cover story. We’ve come a long way since our launch five years ago, when HSCI was more an idea and a hope than an Institute. But thanks to your support and the dedication of our scientist members, today the Harvard Stem Cell Institute is a productive collaborative enterprise that is continually making substantial scientific progress and has emerged as a world leader in stem cell research. We hope that you enjoy reading about our journey and continue to support our efforts in the future.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009






Dear Alice,

The official thank yous should be on their way to you if you haven't received them already, but I wanted to add another note of thanks, especially as the season of giving thanks approaches. Your contributions to our work here are deeply appreciated, both in terms of money and spirit. I loved the photos from the Rally. The sense of community that you have built up is truly wonderful. Thank you so much for what you, your family and friends are doing for Ali's memory and our work together.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. All the best,


Sunday, October 11, 2009


Today from 1 to 6 pm the picnic for a cause is going on at Krauses in halfmoon, hope to see you all there.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Researchers are inching ever closer to bringing the latest stem-cell technologies from bench to bedside — and are, in the process, learning more about some diseases that long have remained medical black boxes. (Read "Stem-Cell Research: The Quest Resumes.")

This week, scientists at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) reported the first success in generating new populations of insulin-producing cells using skin cells of Type 1 diabetes patients. The achievement involved the newer embryo-free technique for generating stem cells, and marked the first step toward building a treatment that could one day replace a patient's faulty insulin-making cells with healthy, functioning ones. (See the top 10 medical breakthroughs of 2008.)

The experiment, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also provided the first good model — in a petri dish — of how Type 1 diabetes develops, giving scientists a peek at what goes wrong in patients affected by the disease. Such knowledge could lead to not only new stem-cell-based treatments, but also novel drug therapies that might improve the symptoms of the disease. (Read "Study: Stem Cells May Reverse Type 1 Diabetes.")

Douglas Melton, co-director of HSCI, and his team took skin cells from two Type 1 diabetes patients, exposed the cells to a cocktail of three genes that converted them back to an embryonic state — which are referred to as pluripotent stem cells — then instructed the newly reborn cells to grow into beta cells, the cells in the pancreas that secrete insulin. In Type 1 diabetes, these beta cells no longer work to break down the glucose that floods the body after each meal, leading to blood-sugar spikes that can damage the kidneys and heart.

To test whether their lab-made cells could function like normal beta cells, Melton's group exposed them to glucose in a dish. When sugar levels were high, the cells produced more of a protein that beta cells release when they break down sugar; when glucose levels were low, the protein levels were low as well. (See pictures from an X-ray studio.)

"These cells represent the newest model of diabetes for humans," says Melton. "We have a lot of good models of Type 1 diabetes in the mouse, but everything that we have learned from them has failed in the clinic. Now we have a chance at figuring out how humans get the disease."

Diabetes researchers believe that the disorder is caused by some type of immune reaction gone awry — immune cells are "trained" in the thymus gland to recognize the body's own cells and protect them from destruction. For some reason, this education doesn't occur properly in Type 1 diabetes patients, and the immune system sees the pancreatic beta cells as foreign. Melton's team is currently working to generate thymus cells from diabetic patients in the same way the team created the beta cells, in order to put all the players together in a lab dish, in a kind of biological diorama of the disease. (See more from TIME on diabetes.)

The researchers are hoping to learn whether diabetes begins in the thymus or in the pancreas, where beta cells somehow change and are no longer recognized or protected by the immune system. "We still really don't know the mechanism of what causes this disease," says Melton. "We don't know which cell is initially responsible, and we don't know if certain people are destined to get it, or if there are things we can do to prevent it, or how to reverse it."

That may soon change, if the beta cells Melton created can give scientists a full picture of the disease. If, for example, it turns out that the new beta cells can be made to survive the attack by the immune system, then the next step would be to return the functional beta cells, generated through strategies like the one used by Melton, back into the patients from whom the original skin cells came. But even that won't happen until more testing is done on the cells to ensure they are both safe and effective.

One problem is that the cocktail of genes that the HSCI team used to turn back the clock on the patients' skin cells work by integrating themselves into the genome of the skin cell with the help of a virus. Such embedding of foreign matter isn't ideal for a treatment designed for the clinic, since changes in the genome could result in a variety of potential problems, including the formation of tumors and uncontrolled cell growth. Melton's group, as well as those in other stem-cell labs around the world, are working to substitute these dangerous genes and viruses with chemicals that might prove safer. (See pictures of the swine flu virus)

As these methods of making beta cells become more established, says Dr. Rohit Kulkarni, a diabetes expert at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, the strategy could be expanded to help patients with either Type 1 or 2 diabetes. "It might even be more relevant for other types of diabetes where there is no immune-system attack," he says. In those cases, simply replacing nonfunctioning beta cells might go a long way toward treating or even curing the disease. (See how to prevent illness at any age.)

But before that can happen, says Melton, the newly formed beta cells can become a valuable resource for understanding Type 1 diabetes better — to answer key questions such as what makes the cells so ineffective in diabetics, and whether new populations of beta cells could survive and function if transplanted into patients. "This is opening a door to a long-term project to get at the cause of this disease," he says. "But it is a new door."

Thursday, August 20, 2009



Alison Fisk Urzan




KRAUSE’S GROVE, 2 Beach Road, Halfmoon, NY

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2009 ~ 1:00 TO 6:00 P.M.


$30.00 per adult ticket at gate - $20.00 for children under 12

includes donation to Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

5 hour picnic with soda, beer, live music, games, door prizes, raffles.

Abundant food and dessert being served 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Those who wish to join a pre-picnic motorcycle and car cavalcade around the beautiful Tomhannock Reservoir in Ali’s honor will meet at the Troy Plaza on Hoosick Street at 10:00 A.M. for sign up and the cavalcade will kick off at 11:00 A.M. sharp.

For further info: rally4ali.blogspot.com/Email:AFisk10302@aol.com


Breaking news!

Some newly discovered compounds have just been found to turn off all of the genes that cause diabetes.

Are these compounds found in a pill bottle? No!

Instead, you'll find them on your dinner plate -- in rye bread and pasta.

(As I recently wrote in one of my blogs, rye contains special phytonutrients that turn off all the genes responsible for diabetes -- in just a few weeks.)

Last week, I explained how to find out if you are pre-diabetic or diabetic. Half of the 24 million people with diabetes don't know they have it and nearly all the 60 million people with pre-diabetes don't know they have it.

Today, I want to share with you more information about what you can do NOW to prevent and reverse diabetes and pre-diabetes.

And rye bread isn't the only answer -- I've got a lot more good advice, too.

But first I want to emphasize new research that should be headlines news but never saw the light of day. Do our current drugs treatments for diabetes actually work to prevent heart attacks and death?

Surely lowering blood sugar in diabetics is an effective strategy for reducing the risk of death and heart disease. It would seem obvious that if diabetes is a disease of high blood sugar, then reducing blood sugar would be beneficial.

However elevated sugar is only a symptom, not the cause of the problem. The real problem is elevated insulin unchecked over decades from a highly refined carbohydrate diet, a sedentary lifestyle and environmental toxins.

Most medications and insulin therapy are aimed at lowering blood sugar through increasing insulin. In the randomized ACCORD trial of over 10,000 patients, this turns out to be a bad idea.

In the intensive glucose-lowering group, there were no fewer heart attacks, and more patients died. Yet we continue to pay $174 billion annually for this type of care for diabetes, despite evidence that lifestyle works better than medications. We also pay for cardiac bypass and angioplasty in diabetics when evidence shows no reduction in death or heart attacks compared to medication.

So now that we know what doesn't work, let me review what does work.

Dietary Recommendations to Reverse Diabetes

Eating in a way that balances your blood sugar, reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, and improves your liver detoxification is the key to preventing and reversing insulin resistance and diabetes.

This is a way of eating that based on a whole foods diet that's high in fiber, rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, and low in sugars and flours, with a low glycemic load.

It is a way of eating that includes anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and detoxifying foods. It includes plenty of omega-3 fats and olive oil, soy products, beans, nuts, and seeds.

All these foods help prevent and reverse diabetes and insulin resistance. This is the way of eating than turns on all the right gene messages, promotes a healthy metabolism, and prevents aging and age-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

Here are more specifics.

Meal Timing

• Eat protein for breakfast every day, such as whole omega-3 eggs, a soy protein shake, or nut butters.

• Eat something every 4 hours to keep your insulin and glucose levels normal.

• Eat small protein snacks in the morning and afternoon, such as a handful of almonds.

• Finish eating at least 2 to 3 hours before bed. If you have a snack earlier in the day, you won't be as hungry, even if you eat a little later.

Meal Composition

• Controlling the glycemic load of your meals is very important.

• You can do this by combining adequate protein, fats, and whole-food carbohydrates from vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and fruit at every meal or snack.

• It is most important to avoid eating quickly absorbed carbohydrates alone, as they raise your sugar and insulin levels.

Travel Suggestions

• Two handfuls of almonds in a zip-lock bag make a useful emergency snack. You can eat them with a piece of fruit. Remember, real food is the best.

What to Eat

Choose from a variety of the following real, whole foods:

• Choose organic produce and animal products whenever possible.

• Eat high-quality protein, such as fish -- especially fatty, cold-water fish like salmon, sable, small halibut, herring, and sardines -- and shellfish.

• Cold-water fish such as salmon, halibut, and sable contain an abundance of beneficial essential fatty acids, omega-3 oils that reduce inflammation. Choose smaller wild Alaskan salmon, sable, and halibut that are low in toxins. Canned wild salmon is a great "emergency" food.

• Eat up to eight omega-3 eggs a week.

• Create meals that are high in low-glycemic legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and soybeans (try edamame, the Japanese soybeans in a pod, quickly steamed with a little salt, as a snack). These foods slow the release of sugars into the bloodstream, which helps prevent the excess insulin release that can lead to health concerns like obesity, high blood pressure, and heart problems.

• Eat a cornucopia of fresh fruits and vegetables teeming with phytonutrients like carotenoids, flavonoids, and polyphenols, which are associated with a lower incidence of nearly all health problems, including obesity and age-related disease.

• Eat more low-glycemic vegetables, such as asparagus, broccoli, kale, spinach, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.

• Berries, cherries, peaches, plums, rhubarb, pears, and apples are optimal fruits. Cantaloupes and other melons, grapes, and kiwifruit are suitable; however, they contain more sugar. You can use organic frozen berries (such as those from Cascadian Farms) in your protein shakes.

• Focus on anti-inflammatory foods, including wild fish and other sources of omega-3 fats, red and purple berries (these are rich in polyphenols), dark green leafy vegetables, orange sweet potatoes, and nuts.

• Eat more antioxidant-rich foods, including orange and yellow vegetables, dark green leafy vegetables (kale, collards, spinach, etc.), anthocyanidins (berries, beets, grapes, pomegranate), purple grapes, blueberries, bilberries, cranberries, and cherries. In fact, antioxidants are in all colorful fruits and vegetables.

• Include detoxifying foods in your diet, such as cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, collards, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, and Chinese broccoli), green tea, watercress, dandelion greens, cilantro, artichokes, garlic, citrus peels, pomegranate, and even cocoa.

• Season your food with herbs such as rosemary, ginger, and turmeric, which are powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and detoxifiers.

• Avoid excessive quantities of meat. Eat lean organic or grass-fed animal products, when possible. These include eggs, beef, chicken, pork, lamb, buffalo, and ostrich. There are good brands at Whole Foods and other local health-food stores (also see mail order sources).

• Garlic and onions contain antioxidants, enhance detoxification, act as anti-inflammatories, and help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

• A diet high in fiber further helps to stabilize blood sugar by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates and supports a healthy lower bowel and digestive tract. Try to gradually increase fiber to 30 to 50 grams a day and use predominantly soluble or viscous fiber (legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, vegetables, and fruit), which slows sugar absorption from the gut.

• Use extra virgin olive oil, which contains anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants, as your main cooking oil.

• Soy Products such as soymilk, soybeans, and tofu are rich in antioxidants that can reduce cancer risk, lower cholesterol, and improve insulin and blood sugar metabolism.

• Increase your intake of nuts and seeds, including raw walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, and pumpkin and flax seeds.

• And yes ... chocolate can be healthy, too. Choose only the darkest varieties and eat only 2 to 3 ounces a day. It should contain 70 percent cocoa.

Decrease (or ideally eliminate) your intake of:

• All processed or junk foods

• Foods containing refined white flour and sugar, such as breads, cereals (cornflakes, Frosted Flakes, puffed wheat, and sweetened granola), flour-based pastas, bagels, and pastries

• All foods containing high-fructose corn syrup

• All artificial sweeteners (aspartame, Sorbitol, etc.) and caffeine

• Starchy, high-glycemic cooked vegetables, such as potatoes, corn, and root vegetables such as rutabagas, parsnips, and turnips

• Processed fruit juices, which are often loaded with sugars (Try juicing your own carrots, celery, and beets, or other fruit and vegetable combinations, instead)

• Processed canned vegetables (usually very high in sodium)

• Foods containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils (which become trans fatty acids in the bloodstream), such as most crackers, chips, cakes, candies, cookies, doughnuts, and processed cheese

• Processed oils such as corn, safflower, sunflower, peanut, and canola

• Red meats (unless organic or grass-fed) and organ meats

• Large predatory fish and river fish, which contain mercury and other contaminants in unacceptable amounts, including swordfish, tuna, tilefish and shark

• Dairy -- substitute unsweetened, gluten free soymilk, almond milk, or hazelnut milk products

• Alcohol -- limit it to no more than 3 glasses a week of red wine per week

Balance Blood Sugar with Exercise

Exercise is critical for the improvement of insulin sensitivity. It helps reduce central body fat, improving sugar metabolism. Regular exercise will help prevent diabetes, reduce your risk of complications, and even help reverse it.

Ideally you should do 30 minutes of walking every day. Walking after dinner is a powerful way to reduce your blood sugar.

More vigorous exercise and sustained exercise is often needed to reverse severe insulin resistance or diabetes. Doing sustained aerobic exercise for up to 60 minutes 5 to 6 times a week is often necessary to get diabetes under full control. You want to work at 70 to 85 percent of your target heart rate, which you can find by subtracting your age from 220 and multiplying that number by 0.70 to 0.85.

Interval training can be an added benefit to helping improve your metabolism and mitochondrial function. It helps to increase the efficiency calorie burning so that you burn more calories and energy during the time you are NOT exercising. This is described in detail in UltraMetabolism.

Strength training also helps maintain and build muscle, which can help also with your overall blood sugar and energy metabolism.

Supplements that Can Help Reverse Diabetes

Nutritional supplements can be very effective for Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. I recommend a number of different supplements, depending on the severity of the problem:

1. A multivitamin and mineral.

2. Calcium and magnesium and vitamin D.

3. Fish oil (1,000 to 4,000 mg) a day improves insulin sensitivity, lowers cholesterol, and reduces inflammation.

4. Extra magnesium (200 to 600 mg a day) helps with glucose metabolism and is often deficient in diabetics.

5. Chromium (500 to 1,000 mcg day) is very important for proper sugar metabolism.

6. Antioxidants (such as vitamins C and E) are important in helping to reduce and balance blood sugar.

7. B-complex vitamins are important and are part of a good multivitamin. Extra vitamin B6 (50 to 150 mg a day) and B12 (1,000 to 3,000 mcg) are especially helpful in protecting against diabetic neuropathy or nerve damage.

8. Biotin (2,000 to 4,000 mcg a day) enhances insulin sensitivity.

9. I also encourage people to use alpha-lipoic acid (300 mg twice a day), a powerful antioxidant that can reduce blood sugar significantly. It also can be effective for diabetic nerve damage or neuropathy.

10. Evening primrose oil (500 to 1,000 mg twice a day) helps overcome deficiencies common in diabetics.

11. I encourage people to use cinnamon as a supplement. One to two 500 mg tablets twice a day can help blood sugar control.

12. Other herbs and supplements that can be helpful include green tea, ginseng, bitter melon, gymnema, bilberry, ginkgo, onions, and garlic. Fenugreek can also be used to help improve blood sugar ,although large amounts must be taken.

13. Banaba leaf (Lagerstroemia speciosa) can be an effective herb. Take 24 mg twice a day.

14. I recommend konjac fiber, such as PGX (WellBetX), four capsules 10 minutes before meals with a glass of water. This helps reduce blood sugar after meals and improves long-term blood sugar control while reducing appetite and cholesterol.

Manage Diabetes by Managing Stress

Stress plays a dramatic role in blood sugar imbalances. It triggers insulin resistance, promotes weight gain around the middle, increases inflammation, and ultimately can cause diabetes. So it's essential to engage in relaxation practices on a regular basis, such as yoga, breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, hot baths, exercise, meditation, massage, biofeedback, hypnosis, or even making love. Your survival depends on it.

Use Medications if Necessary

A number of medications may be helpful for diabetes. There are several specific classes of medications, each with their own effects. Sometimes combinations are helpful.

These are the main classes.

1. The biguanides, especially metformin (Glucophage), is one of the best medications to improve insulin sensitivity. It can help lower blood sugars by improving your cells' response to insulin.

2. Thiazolidinedione drugs are a new class of diabetes medication and can help improve uptake of glucose by the cells by making you more insulin-sensitive. They also reduce inflammation and help improve metabolism working on the PPAR, a special class of cell receptors that control metabolism. They can cause weight gain and liver damage. Thiazolidinediones include rosiglutazone (Avandia) and pioglitazone (Actos).

3. Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors include acarbose and miglitol, which can help lower the absorption of sugar and carbohydrates in the intestines, reducing the absorption of sugar after meals. And there are newer medication on the market every day.

Older medications include sulfonylureas include glipizide, glyburide, and glimepiride. I strongly recommend against these medications because they only reduce your sugar in the short term and cause further insulin production, which actually worsens diabetes over the long term. They have also been linked to high risk of heart attacks, which you are trying to prevent. They treat the symptoms rather than the cause.

Insulin is the last resort after all other measures have failed and often leads to a slippery slope of weight gain and increased cholesterol and blood pressure. Many patients have been able to come off insulin entirely if they are treated early and aggressively through the other methods I've listed.

Diabetes and its precursor, insulin resistance, are looming as the major threat to our health in the 21st century. It will affect 1 in 3 children born today, and 1 in 2 minority children. This is a tragic consequence of our toxic food environment, our unmitigated exposure to stress, our sedentary lifestyle, and environmental toxins.

However, these problems are completely preventable and often reversible through aggressive lifestyle changes, supplements, and exercise and stress management.

Diabetes is the biggest health epidemic triggered by the obesity epidemic, but all of our medical efforts to treat it are focused on medications and insulin. It is simply the wrong approach.

If you follow these guidelines instead, you will see a dramatic change very quickly in your health, your weight, and your diabetes.

Just try it!

Now I'd like to hear from you ...

Have you been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes?

Have you been told that you must take drugs to treat it?

Which of these steps do you plan to take and which are you already trying? What are the results?

Please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, M.D.

Mark Hyman, M.D. practicing physician and founder of The UltraWellness Center is a pioneer in functional medicine. Dr. Hyman is now sharing the 7 ways to tap into your body's natural ability to heal itself. You can follow him on Twitter, connect with him on LinkedIn, watch his videos on Youtube and become a fan on Facebook.



Alison Fisk Urzan




KRAUSE’S GROVE, 2 Beach Road, Halfmoon, NY

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2009 ~ 1:00 TO 6:00 P.M.


$30.00 per adult ticket at gate - $20.00 for children under 12

includes donation to Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

5 hour picnic with soda, beer, live music, games, door prizes, raffles.

Abundant food and dessert being served 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Those who wish to join a pre-picnic motorcycle and car cavalcade around the beautiful Tomhannock Reservoir in Ali’s honor will meet at the Troy Plaza on Hoosick Street at 10:00 A.M. for sign up and the cavalcade will kick off at 11:00 A.M. sharp.

For further info: rally4ali.blogspot.com/Email:AFisk10302@aol.com

Friday, August 14, 2009


Where: Tugboat Tavern, 159 Bridge Avenue, Cohoes, NY

When: Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Time: 6:30 P.M.

The 3rd Planning Committee meeting will be held on the above date and time and anyone wishing to volunteer for “Our Cause” who hasn’t done so already may do so at this meeting.

We are now getting down to the wire, and there will be many updates as to venue, tickets, fliers, publicity, etc.

Everyone’s input is valued and we deeply appreciate the help and support of all.

All donations raised in Ali’s memory will go to Harvard Stem Cell Institute in rigorous search of a CURE for diabetes.



Monday, August 10, 2009


Researchers from the University of Bath are embarking on a project to use stem cell technology that could reduce the number of animal experiments used to study conditions such as motor neurone disease.
Dr Vasanta Subramanian, from the University’s Department of Biology & Biochemistry, will be developing a technique using human stem cells to study this debilitating neurological disease, greatly reducing the number of animals used in research.
Stem cells are the precursor cells that are able to develop into more specialised cells and tissues such as neurones or skin cells.
Whilst previously most stem cells were derived from embryos, this new research project will instead use Induced Pluripotent Stem cells (iPS cells) which are made from skin cells from adults.
Dr Subramanian has been awarded a major three year grant by the National Centre for Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) to study ALS, a form of motor neurone disease in which the nerve cells that control the muscles die.
This currently incurable condition causes patients to lose movement in muscles, affecting breathing and eventually causing death.
Dr Subramanian will be making iPS cells from the skin cells of patients suffering from ALS to study the genes that are thought to cause the disease.
She said: “These are exciting times for stem cell research and there is tremendous potential in the iPS cell technology both for medical applications and in basic biology.
“This technology will not only help understand the mechanisms underlying the disease, but will also reduce the numbers of animals used in research.
“There is a real need to develop alternative methods for studying these diseases that are more robust and better simulate how the disease develops in humans.”
The grant will fund a teaching replacement for Dr Subramanian, allowing her to focus on her research, and a research assistant to work on the project. It will also fund a state-of-the-art high power microscope that will allow the researchers to observe the movements and growth of neurones in real time.
The project is one of 13 receiving a share of a £4.5 million fund from the NC3Rs.
Dr Vicky Robinson, chief executive of the NC3Rs, said: “If we are to reduce animal use and at the same time continue to develop new treatments for diseases then we must engage the best minds and harness the best science and technology in this endeavour.
“That is what we are doing with the £4.5 million in 13 new research projects that the NC3Rs is investing in. We are really pleased to be giving grants to scientists who are trying to develop treatments in major areas of concern such as cancer, motor neurone disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
“If they can do this, and reduce their reliance on animal use then this has to be good news.”

Friday, July 31, 2009


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama directed federal agencies on Thursday to enact new rules governing federally funded research on human embryonic stem cells.

The rules, issued earlier this year by the National Institutes of Health, loosened some ethical requirements that scientists said could have cost them a decade of work.

"I hereby direct the heads of executive departments and agencies that support and conduct stem cell research to adopt these guidelines, to the fullest extent practicable in light of legal authorities and obligations," Obama said in a statement.

In March, Obama lifted restrictions on human embryonic stem cell research that had been put in place by his predecessor as president, George W. Bush, and asked the NIH to draw up new guidelines.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Rally for Ali Planning Committee Meeting

Rally for Ali Planning Committee Meeting

Minutes of 2nd Meeting

The 2009 Rally for Ali Planning Committee meeting was held on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 at the Tugboat Tavern in Cohoes.

Wally Urzan, Honorary Chair, gave the welcome.

Randy Smith, General Chair, presided over the meeting.

Alice Connally Fisk, Secretary, recorded the minutes.

Cathy Connally Caruso, Treasurer, announced she will open a bank account tomorrow Thursday, July 23, in the name of Rally for Ali where monies collected for start-up costs and donations for Harvard Stem Cell Institute will be deposited. Cathy said she would track all start-up costs and donations to HSCR in Excel and Bob Morse said he will add to Ali’s Blog the name and address of the bank where donations can be made in c/o Cathy Caruso. Wally Urzan donated $500.00 to get the ball rolling for start-up costs.

Wally and Randy noted that the venue for the Rally will be solidified before the August meeting regarding whether or not it will be held at the Capt. JP from 3 to 9 PM with Capt. Jim to cater. Or, in the alternative, Margie Collins will check on St. Michaels Pavilion in Cohoes as a venue, (time to be decided) in which case, “Twink” of Patricelli’s will cater.

It was decided that at the venue door a $20.00 donation will include food and music.

There will be 50/50 tickets sold for $20.00 - some for those “attending”, and others for those “not attending” the event.

Rosalie Repp announced the Yard Sale will be held at her home 49 Guideboard Road in Clifton Park from 9 to 3 p.m. on August 22 to raise money for hot items for raffles for gifts for prizes. Any items left over at the yard sale will be brought to the yard of Bob Morse at 124 Broad St., Waterford for weekend of September 6, 7, 8 yard sale. (Alicia Young emailed the Rally for Ali Yard Sale flier today (Saturday) to Alice and it has been forwarded in group e-mailings to all members to print and distribute; and to forward to their own group lists for printing and distribution).


Rally for Ali Yard Sale

August 22nd 2009

49 Guideboard Rd. Waterford/Halfmoon

(From Waterford approx. ½ mile past Waterford/Halfmoon firehouse on right)


To contribute items for the sale
Drop off your clean saleable goods
August 14th - 21st at above address.

All goods donated will be sold and not returned.
All unsold items will be saved for another sale or donated.

For additional information call
Rosalie 527-9124
Alicia 279-0819

Thank you for your support.!

Rock On!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009



2nd Planning Committee Meeting

Supporting Research for a CURE for Diabetes ~


Where: Tugboat Tavern, 159 Bridge Avenue, Cohoes, NY

When: Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Time: 6:30 P.M.

You are warmly invited to attend the 2nd Planning Committee meeting on the above date and at the above venue. Anyone wishing to volunteer for “Our Cause” who hasn’t done so already may do so at this meeting.

It was determined at the 1st Committee Meeting on June 10th that the Rally for our little Ali will be held each and every year on each Sunday of Columbus Day Weekend and is projected to be an ever bigger and better event as the years go by!

Our 1st meeting in June had a large and enthusiastic turnout. A lot was accomplished and gave all of Ali’s many circles of friends along with her family, a much more comfortable time frame in which to organize and plan many of the details. Even more specifics will be worked out at the up-coming meeting.

Everyone’s input is valued and we deeply appreciate the help and support of all.

All donations raised in Ali’s memory will go to Harvard Stem Cell Institute in rigorous search of a CURE for diabetes.



Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Me, Ali and Grogs drove down for this show with about $40 between us and got in for free and had one hellava good time. During this tune we got pretty close to the front and I remember everyone swinging their shirts around in the air, great memories, Ali even keep the boots she wore covered in mud, she kept them like that since 1994, gotta luv that.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


DALLAS — July 9, 2009 — In a new study that could transform embryonic stem cell (ES cell) research, scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered why mouse ES cells can be easily grown in a laboratory while other mammalian ES cells are difficult, if not impossible, to maintain.

If the findings in mice can be applied to other animals, scientists could have an entirely new palette of research tools to work with, said Dr. Steven McKnight, chairman of biochemistry at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study appearing in the July 9 issue of Science Express.

“This might change the way medical research is done. But it’s still a big ‘if,’” he said.

According to the research, the activation of a gene called TDH in mouse ES cells results in the cells entering a unique metabolic state that is similar to that of rapidly growing bacterial cells. The gene controls the production of the threonine dehydrogenase (TDH) enzyme in mouse ES cells. This enzyme breaks down an amino acid called threonine into two products. One of the two products goes on to control a cellular process called one carbon metabolism; the other provides ES cells with an essential metabolic fuel.

Research led by Dr. Steven McKnight has demonstrated that the activation of a particular gene may be a key component of why mouse embryonic stem cells are easily grown in a laboratory while other mammalian ES cells are difficult, if not impossible, to maintain.

Both of the threonine breakdown products are necessary to keep the ES cells growing and dividing rapidly in a petri dish without differentiating into specific tissues.

The various substances currently used by scientists to keep mouse ES cells alive in the laboratory were found by trying many different combinations until something worked, Dr. McKnight said. But until now, it wasn’t known that these culture conditions keyed into keeping the TDH gene actively expressed.

“Scientists added this and that until they got the right ‘soup,’ one that works in the mouse ES cells to somehow activate the TDH gene,” he said, adding that exactly how that gene is regulated is still unknown.

Other mammalian species have a functional version of the TDH gene, suggesting the possibility that the process could also be activated in them.

“You would think that the ‘mouse soup’ would then work for all species, but it doesn’t. Researchers have been trying for 20 years to get the right formula for maintaining ES cells from other species. With few exceptions, however, they still haven’t gotten it right,” Dr. McKnight said.

The research was funded by a National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award, which Dr. McKnight received in 2004. The program encourages investigators to take on creative, unexplored avenues of research that carry a relatively high potential for failure but that also possess a greater chance for truly groundbreaking discoveries.

“By applying a highly innovative technique to manipulate the TDH gene, McKnight’s work could be an important breakthrough with a profound impact on future research,” said Dr. Raynard S. Kington, acting director of the NIH. “This research, which was partially funded by our Pioneer Award program, shows the value of supporting exceptionally creative approaches to major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research.”

Embryonic stem cells are “blank slate” cells — derived from embryos — that go on to develop into any of the more than 200 types of cells in the adult body.

Because mouse ES cells are easily maintained in the lab, they can be manipulated genetically to produce adult mice in which various genes are either modified or eliminated. So-called “knockout mice” allow scientists to study the genetic aspects of many diseases and conditions, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and paralysis.

In the living mouse, and in other species, ES cells exist for only a short time. In that time, they need to grow rapidly in order to accumulate enough cells to begin the process of differentiating into all the body’s cell types. Dr. McKnight hypothesizes that the TDH gene tightly controls this process in the animal, allowing the ES cells to grow, but then it shuts off when it’s time to differentiate.

“If we can tweak conditions and determine how to keep the gene turned on in other animals, we might be able to grow and maintain ES cells for study in many species. It’s still speculative at this point whether it will work, but if it does, then this may prove to represent a transformational discovery,” Dr. McKnight said.

Interestingly, although humans carry a form of the TDH gene, it contains three inactivating mutations. As such, human ES cells do not produce the TDH enzyme.

“In the human embryo, something else is taking the place of this TDH-mediated form of rapid cell growth,” Dr. McKnight said. “Human ES cells may exist in a unique metabolic state, but it would not appear to involve threonine breakdown.”

Human ES cells grow slowly and are difficult to maintain in the laboratory, which is a huge impediment to this field of study, Dr. McKnight said.

“If scientists could repair the mutated human TDH gene and replace it into human ES cells, could they make those cells grow faster in culture? I don’t know whether this will work or not — it’s highly speculative. But if so, it would be profound,” he said.

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study were lead author Dr. Jian Wang, postdoctoral researcher in biochemistry; Peter Alexander, graduate student in biochemistry; Leeju Wu, senior research scientist in biochemistry; Dr. Robert Hammer, professor of biochemistry; and Dr. Ondine Cleaver, assistant professor of molecular biology.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cellular Dynamics International Reprograms Blood Cells into Stem Cells

Findings to be Presented at the International Society of Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) Annual Meeting Demonstrate that Any Stored Blood Sample is a Candidate for iPS Cell Reprogramming

MADISON, Wis., July 8, 2009– Researchers at Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) report the ability to generate pluripotent stem cells, which have the ability to generate all tissue types in the body, from very small volumes of ordinary human blood samples. This significant breakthrough provides a readily obtainable source of pluripotent stem cells from the millions of samples in storage at blood repositories and healthcare institutions worldwide. These findings, announced today, will be presented during a poster session beginning at 4:45 p.m. on July 10 at the ISSCR annual meeting in Barcelona, Spain.

“Industry’s challenge was to reliably create iPS cells from a commonly available and easily accessible tissue source and we focused on stored human peripheral blood samples,” said Chris Kendrick-Parker, chief commercial officer of CDI. “Generating pluripotent stem cells from small volumes of blood—either freshly collected from a patient or accessed from blood storage repositories, provides a convenient source for generating patient-specific stem cells that are valuable research tools and may one day be used as a cellular therapy to treat disease.”

Emile Nuwaysir, chief operations officer of CDI said, “The ability to use common tissue repositories to create iPS cells from donors with known medical history enables us to provide the pharmaceutical industry with a cell portfolio representing individual biology, disease models, retrospective analysis and ethnic diversity. This is the first step in paving the way for large-scale processing and industrialization of iPS cells.”

To generate the induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, CDI scientists isolated T-cells, a type of white blood cell, from a 3 ml donor blood sample. The cells were stimulated, expanded and exposed to documented reprogramming factors. iPS cell colonies were observed after three weeks. Analysis revealed that the iPS cells are functionally identical to embryonic stem cells and iPS cells generated from other human tissue sources, that they carry the same genetic background as the source blood sample, and that they have the pluripotent ability to differentiate into any cell type.

About Cellular Dynamics International, Inc.
Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (CDI) is a leading developer of next-generation stem cell technologies for drug development and personalized medicine applications. CDI harnesses the power of pluripotent stem cells and their ability to differentiate into any cell type for world-class drug development tools. In addition, it is the leader in iPS technology, the production of pluripotent stem cell lines from adult tissue. CDI was founded in 2004 by Dr. James Thomson, a pioneer in human embryonic stem cell research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Tactics II Ventures, a Wisconsin-based venture capital fund. CDI’s facilities are located in Madison, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Scientists in California have discovered that the discarded placentas of healthy newborns provide a much more abundant source of stem cells than umbilical cord blood.

According to the new study, the stem cells in placentas can be safely extracted for transplantation.

Furthermore, it is highly likely that placental stem cells, like umbilical cord blood and bone marrow stem cells, can be used to cure chronic blood-related disorders such as sickle cell disease, thalassemia, and leukemia.

The study, led by Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland (Calif.) scientists Frans Kuypers, Ph.D.[ PICTURED ], and Vladimir Serikov, Ph.D., The doctors and their team made the discoveries by harvesting term placentas from healthy women undergoing elective Cesarean sections.

“Yes, the stem cells are there; yes, they are viable; and yes, we can get them out,” Kuypers said.

Using stem cells from umbilical cord blood, Children’s Hospital Oakland physicians have cured more than 100 children with chronic blood-related diseases through their sibling donor cord blood transplantation program, which began in 1997.

However, according to the American Cancer Society, each year at least 16,000 people with serious blood- related disorders are not able to receive the bone marrow or cord blood transplant they need because they can’t find a match.

Kuypers said that even when a patient receives a cord blood transplant, there may not be enough stem cells in the umbilical cord to successfully treat their disorder.

Placentas, however, contain several times more stem cells than umbilical cord blood.

“The greater supply of stem cells in placentas will likely increase the chance that an HLA (human leukocyte antigen) matched unit of stem cells engrafts, making stem cell transplants available to more people. The more stem cells, the bigger the chance of success,” said Kuypers.

Kuypers and Serikov have also developed a patent-pending method that will allow placental stem cells to be safely harvested and made accessible for transplantation.

The process involves freezing placentas in a way that allows them to later be defrosted and suffused with a compound that enables the extraction of viable stem cells.

The method will make it possible for companies to gather, ship and store placentas in a central location.

“We’re looking for a partnership with industry to get placenta-derived stem cells in large quantities to the clinic,” Kuypers said.

He said that much more research and grant funding are needed to explore the maximum potential of this latest discovery.

“Someday, we will be able to save a lot more kids and adults from these horrific blood disorders.”

The study is published in the July 2009 issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine.

Contact: Frans Kuypers, 510-450-7620, fkuypers@chori.org

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


BOSTON, June 30 (Reuters) - General Electric Co (GE.N) is teaming up with U.S. biotech company Geron Corp (GERN.O) to use stem cells to develop products that could give drug developers an early warning of whether new medicines are toxic.

The venture is the largest U.S. conglomerate's most direct attempt to make a commercial products from human embryonic stem cells. Scientists say the cells hold great medical promise, but their use has been highly controversial in the United States.

Embryonic stem cells are the body's master cells and can grow into various types of human tissue, such as skin or internal organs.

GE and Geron aim to use an existing batch of stem cells to develop sample human cells that drug companies could use to test the toxicity of new drugs early in the development process, before they are ready for animal testing or human clinical trials.

The venture would not sell actual stem cells, but rather heart or liver cells derived from stem cells, said Konstantin Fiedler, general manager of cell technologies at GE Healthcare.

"This could replace, to a large extent, animal trials," Fiedler said in a telephone interview. "Once you have human cells and you can get them in a standardized way, like you get right now your lab rats in a standardized way, you can actually do those experiments on those cells."

Fiedler emphasized the products are still in an early development stage. GE estimated it would have the first commercial cells ready next year.

Geron shares surged on the news of its deal with the Fairfield, Connecticut-based company, which has made expanding its healthcare operation a major strategic push this year.


Scientists say that research on embryonic stem cells, which are the most malleable, has enormous potential to develop treatments for cancer and other diseases [ID:nN08329064].

But using stem cells derived from days-old human embryos has been intensely controversial in the United States, where opponents say the destruction of any embryo is wrong. The Obama administration in March lifted a Bush-era decision that had forbidden federally funded researchers to work with the cells.

GE and Geron said their research would use batches of stem cell listed on a National Institutes of Health registry, which would make the work eligible for U.S. funding.

GE will fund the research and manufacturing and sell any resulting products, while Menlo Park, California-based Geron will provide its data on stem cells.

The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the arrangement.

Needham analyst Mark Monane, who follows Geron, wrote in a note to clients that the financial terms were likely "modest," but added: "The value of the opportunity lies in the quality of the partner."

In May, GE reached a deal with Cytori Therapeutics Inc (CYTX.O) to commercialize that company's StemSource product.

GE, whose healthcare unit is best known for advanced imaging systems such as CT-scan machines, said in May it planned to invest $3 billion in research and development, with a primary focus on making its products less costly to buy and operate.

GE has had since 2005 a policy to do research on stem cells, while following all U.S. and applicable laws, but had not tried to commercialize a product from them, Fiedler said.

Geron shares were up $1.14 at $7.83 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq, while GE was down 8 cents at $11.68 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Smaller U.S. companies including StemCells Inc (STEM.O) and Aastrom Biosciences Inc (ASTM.O) and Osiris Therapeutics Inc (OSIR.O) have focused on stem-cell research, although the technology has also caught the attention of drug giants such as No. 1 Pfizer Inc (PFE.N), which last year quietly launched a stem cell initiative. (Reporting by Scott Malone in Boston, additional reporting by Esha Dey in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Andre Grenon)

Monday, June 29, 2009


It takes courage to break unknown ground and accomplish something no one else had ever contemplated. Douglas Melton, 55, displayed that courage when he took his concern for his own diabetic children and applied it to a controversial area of science — stem cells — that could benefit all of us.
It is fortunate that Melton, a molecular biologist at Harvard University, already had the research skills to tackle the complex condition that afflicts his son and daughter. He had been studying the cell structures of frogs and mice — both ideal animal models for conducting cellular research. His genius in this area led to the creation of new stem-cell lines that could one day replace the malfunctioning pancreatic cells that lead to diabetes. More important, his methods sidestep all the debates about embryonic research because the cells don't start out as embryos at all, but rather as adult skin cells.
The potential benefits of Melton's work by no means stop with diabetes. Through his research, adult cells may one day be transformed into a variety of tissues to replace other human cells that no longer function. One application is well under way, with stem cells being developed that could replace the dopamine-producing brain cells in Parkinson's patients. It's not too much of a stretch to say Parkinson's could be cured someday — and that Melton's research could be what does it.
Some would say Providence played a hand in the circumstances that led Melton down this trailblazing path. But whatever the reason or circumstances, it is Melton's will and perseverance that allow him to make great strides in his field — benefiting not just us, but also generations to come.
Hatch, a Republican Senator from Utah, backed federal funding for embryonic-stem-cell research
Fast Fact: During the stem-cell-funding ban, Melton gave free cell lines to labs that needed them


In the wake of tragedy, a "Rally for Ali"

June 20, 2009
After nearly 25 years of fighting, 48-year-old Alison Urzan died from complications of type one, insulin-dependent diabetes. And yet even after her death, there was a need for hope, and her family requested that contributions in Alison's memory be made to HSCI.

Three weeks after her death, family and many friends organized an event in her honor called "Rally for Ali." Ali and her husband enjoyed riding motorcycles through the beautiful landscapes of upstate New York and the day included a 50-mile motorcycle trek to some of her favorite places.

At the end of the ride a benefit was held, which included food, live music, a silent auction, and a 50/50 raffle. While the majority of the proceeds raised went toward funeral and medical expenses, the balance was donated to HSCI.

When Ali's mother, Alice, was asked why they chose HSCI, she said, "That's where Ali would want the contributions to go. To go to research toward a cure."

Continuing to make a difference in Ali's honor, her friends and family are currently organizing another rally for this fall.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Here's something that people with poor or no vision will be excited about: three patients had their sight restored in less than a month by contact lenses cultured with stem cells.

All three patients were blind in one eye. The researchers extracted stem cells from their working eyes, cultured them in contact lenses for 10 days, and gave them to the patients. Within 10 to 14 days of use, the stem cells began recolonizing and repairing the cornea.
Of the three patients, two were legally blind but can now read the big letters on an eye chart, while the third, who could previously read the top few rows of the chart, is now able to pass the vision test for a driver's license. The research team isn't getting over excited, still remaining unsure as to whether the correction will remain stable, but the fact that the three test patients have been enjoying restored sight for the last 18 months is definitely encouraging. The simplicity and low cost of the technique also means that it could be carried out in poorer countries.
This is incredible and potentially game changing. It's stuff like this that makes you realize that we live in the future, and it's awesome


Some diabetes patients who cannot live without insulin injections now have a new option: a transplant of islet cells, which produce insulin in the body. Drawing upon advances in cell biology and endocrinology, surgeons go through a 14-hour process to isolate and purify the islet cells from a donated pancreas. While there's no guarantee the success will last, it may prevent some life-threatening situations.

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--Diabetic patients who couldn't live without insulin injections are now enjoying insulin independence thanks to a new type of transplant.
Annie Anderson has a refreshing outlook on life, but that wasn't the case a few months ago. Anderson, an islet cell transplant patient says, "Totally unaware of where I was ... didn't know what had happened ... very confused -- I couldn't speak. My mind was working, but I couldn't get words out." Anderson is describing the scene that unfolded when her diabetes caused her to slip into unconsciousness. Episodes like that are no longer a threat for her. Becasue her type 1 diabetes was corrected through an experimental cell transplant.
Dr. Paul Gores, director of pancreas and islet transplantation at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C., says, "An islet cell transplant is a means of reversing diabetes in a patient who has lost their beta cells, which are the important cells within the little clusters of cells we call islets, which reside inside the pancreas, which produce insulin."
Transplant surgeons go through a painstaking 14-hour process to isolate and purify the islet cells from a donated pancreas. Those cells will produce insulin. Patients who go through the procedure must take immune-suppressing drugs for life with no guarantee the success will last. Dr. Gores says, "Of course, we don't know that at six, seven, eight, nine years maybe the insulin production they have right now might just totally go away and they might get totally back to square one."
For Anderson, there is no question the transplant was the right choice. She says, "It's totally changed my life, and I am so fortunate and grateful."
The longest study shows about 80 percent of patients still produce some insulin five years after their islet cell transplant, but not enough to continue to go without insulin injections. Only about 2 percent of type 1 diabetics are considered candidates for islet cell transplantation at this point, but doctors hope that number will increase.
BACKGROUND: A new experimental transplant procedure has been shown to successfully treat Type I diabetes in at least one patient, relieving that patient of the need to take daily insulin injections.
THE PROBLEM: Type I diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas does not produce enough insulin. Diabetes sufferers must inject insulin every day, or their blood sugar levels can rise out of control. Insulin is a chemical substance in the body (technically a hormone) that is needed to regular blood sugar levels. It also helps the body use fat and protein.
THE SOLUTION: Islets are cell clusters in the pancreas that control the release of insulin as needed to maintain normal levels of blood sugar in the body. Before the transplant, islet cells are collected from a donor pancreas. A catheter is inserted into the patient's abdomen and threaded into the portal vein, which carries blood to the liver. Then a teaspoonful of islet cells is injected through the catheter. The patient is conscious but anesthetized during the procedure, and can usually return home within a day or two. More than one transfusion of islet cells may be needed, and the patient must remain on immune-suppressant therapy for life to prevent the transplanted tissue from being rejected by the body. Immunosuppressive drugs can have severe potential side effects, so the procedure is not appropriate for the vast majority of diabetic patients.
WHERE TO FIND IT: Only a few medical centers in the world currently offer this procedure, which is experimental and performed as clinical research. Ten of those centers are located in the U.S., and include Carolinas Medical Center. See www.carolinas.org.
ABOUT TYPE I DIABETES: This is known as an autoimmune disease, because the body destroys its own cells: those that produce insulin. When all those cells have been destroyed, the symptoms of Type I diabetes appear. These include unexplained weight loss; vision problems; more frequent urination; and feeling very hungry, thirsty or tired. Among other long-term complications, Type I diabetes means there is an increased risk of kidney failure, nerve damage, heart disease and blindness.


Thursday, June 18, 2009


Note from Ali …

To my circles and circles

and circles of friends

this note’s to enlighten

that LIFE never ends.

It invites us to celebrate

Rock On and sing

and grab all the good times

our Circles all bring.

I still listen with love

when you speak, as before.

So listen right back

as I touch you once more.

Spirit bubbles within us

in heavenly bliss

spreading laughter and sunshine

…my huge hug and kiss.

To my circles and circles

and circles of friends

stay close to each other

as Summertime ends.

Stay connected through Springtime

through Winter and Fall

as I dance ‘round our Circles

still loving you ALL.

Unconditionally, as always,

Ali Baba

© 2009, Alice Connally Fisk

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Ali marched with me for years in the Albany parade when I was the secretary of INA back in the 80's. She was always very happy about going to NYC with us for the St. Patrick's Day parade and she LOVED the excitement created by the Pipes and Drums of The Emeral Society NYPD Band. I have their 1998 30th Anniversary tape but could find nothing on their site or on Google about where newer cd's by them could be found. If you find out anything, please let me know.

p.s. Keep up the WONDERFUL work on Ali's Cause site and her blog.


Dear Mrs. Fisk:

Thank you so much for sending along the link to the Rally For Ali website. It’s quite impressive, and is both a fun and touching way to pay tribute to your daughter.

Since you have a link up to the NYSCF presentation, I thought you might be interested in also providing a link to the video of Doug Melton’s appearance on Charlie Rose. http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/10274

Thank you again for sending me and the folks at HSCI all the updates as you plan the next Rally for Ali. Your efforts are an inspiration.

With best wishes,


Charlotte Troyanowski


Sunday, June 14, 2009



Our beautiful and spirited daughter Ali suffered from type 1 insulin dependant diabetes for over 25 years and crossed over at 48 years of age from a multitude of complications of this horrible disease. Right now diabetes is far too profitable to cure. But there is HOPE on the horizon as legions of people with diabetes are now becoming more and more fed up, and just plain sick and tired, of the never ending "newer and better" gee-gaws sold to "control" this and that aspect of this deadly disease. We don’t need ever bigger, and ever more profitable, patchwork solutions. WE NEED A CURE! People with diabetes, their families and friends are no longer gullible enough to try to flag down a fighter jet full of diabetic complications with just a candle. We WILL instead be shining klieg lights worldwide, and RIGHT NOW, on the complications of this relentless killer disease, and we will settle for nothing less than A CURE! The Rally for Ali is to be held on Sunday, October 11, 2009 ~ Columbus Day Weekend ~ in Troy, NY. All are welcome to attend this celebration of Ali's vivacious life ~ while at the same time knowing that the overriding reason for her Rally is to raise money for research, as that is what our courageous little Ali would want. All donations received will be sent to Harvard Stem Cell Institute where dedicated scientists are working feverishly to find a cure for diabetes so that future generations will never have to suffer from its heartbreaking complications. God Bless all those who join us in this very worthy Rally ~ OUR CAUSE. We love you to pieces Ali Baba ~ always have and always will.
Mom and Dad Fisk