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New Book Highlights Success of California Stem Cell Agency: Program “Must be Renewed”, says Author Don C. Reed

OAKLAND, Calif., June 07, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --


/EIN News/ -- WHAT: “CALIFORNIA CURES!” Book Launch
WHEN: Tuesday, June 12, 11 am to noon
WHERE: 1999 Harrison Street, Oakland,  California, Suite 1650

Contact: author Don C. Reed, (650) 812-1011,

Don C. Reed has been called the “Grandfather of stem cell research advocacy”, for his 23-year struggle for scientists’ funding and freedom, especially his support of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). In his new book, “CALIFORNIA CURES:  How the California Stem Cell Program is Fighting ­­Your Incurable Disease!”, Reed tells why the agency needs to be renewed when its funding ends.

“Lives have been saved, and suffering eased, because California stood up for stem cells in 2004,” Reed says. “Now as we approach the end of that voter-approved program, it is vital that everybody knows the story of CIRM, the good it is doing, and why it must be allowed to continue.”

Attending the book launch will be six-year-old Evie Vaccaro, who, Reed says, “is alive today because of a stem cell therapy supported by CIRM”. Evie was born with Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID), the ‘bubble baby’ disease. Without a functioning immune system, a common cold can be fatal. For her own protection, Evie was kept inside a sterile plastic bubble. Untreated, SCID children usually die in the first two years of life. But a CIRM-supported treatment, developed by Donald Kohn of UCLA, has cured Evie-- and 40 other children just like her. 

Begun by citizen initiative Proposition 71 in 2004, CIRM is “a quiet triumph”, says Reed, who has written two books and a weblog ( on the subject. He points to 49 human trials the agency has funded, helping people with paralysis, vision loss, stroke and multiple types of cancer. CIRM has also created thousands of jobs, generated hundreds of millions of dollars in new taxes, and made California a global leader in stem cell research.

Inspired and led by Bob Klein, father of a diabetic son, CIRM has contributed major funding ($2.6 billion) to the fight against chronic disease, including: diabetes, obesity, deafness, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, sickle cell anemia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS and more.

To fight the epidemic of obesity, stem cell scientist Shingo Kajimura may have found a way to change the color of human fat! Brown fat burns off quickly, and the body is lean and muscular. White fat is long-lasting blubber, difficult to get rid of—but could it be changed to brown?

Leukemia may be fought by locating cancer “super-cells” when they hide, peeling off their “cloak of invisibility” so the body can kill them.

To those who say, we “can’t afford” the research, Reed says: “We can’t afford not to do it! In 2017, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic disease and disability cost America $2.9 trillion dollars, more than all federal income taxes combined—cure is the only way to bring down this mountain of medical debt.”

Confirmed Guests at the Book Launch Include:

  • Bob Klein, inspirational founder of CIRM;
  • Hans Keirstead, pioneering researcher (and congressional candidate);
  • Bertha Chen, called the “Gorilla Gynecologist”;
  • Dr. Maria Millan, President/CEO of CIRM;
  • Don Reed, author “CALIFORNIA CURES”
  • Evie Vacarro, 6-year-old girl cured of SCID by CIRM-supported therapy;
  • Alysia Vacarro, Evie’s mother;
  • Xavier Darzaq, inventor of super microscope;
  • Adrienne Shapiro, sickle cell anemia advocate.

“CALIFORNIA CURES!” is produced by World Scientific Publishing, Inc., publishers of the late Professor Stephen Hawking.

About the Author:

Don C. Reed is vice President for Public Policy, Americans for Cures Foundation. He can be reached for interviews at (650) 812-1011.

For audio, video and more information, visit:

Reed was citizen sponsor of California’s Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act of 1999, named after his paralyzed son. Don was grassroots organizer for America’s first pro-stem cell research legislation, California Senate Bill 253 (Ortiz).   Reed served on the patient advocate Board of Directors for Proposition 71, and remains actively involved in the $3 billion California stem cell agency. As David Jensen of the CALIFORNIA STEM CELL REPORT remarked, “Don has probably attended more public meetings of the CIRM than anyone else, including staff.”

Reed has received numerous awards, including: the first Patient Advocacy Award from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the first Stem Cell Action Award from the World Stem Cell Summit, the Willie Shoemaker Award for advancing awareness of Spinal Cord Injury, Teacher of the Year for Fremont School District, Highlights for Children’s Best Science Article of the Year, the U.S. House of Representatives Community Service Award, and more.

In addition to “CALIFORNIA CURES” and its preceding volume, “STEM CELL BATTLES: Proposition 71 and Beyond”, Reed has written more than 200 pieces for the Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and other internet outlets. He has also written books about sharks and dolphins (based on 15 years as a professional scuba diver at Marine World Africa USA) as well as articles for such publications as THE LANCET, BOY’S LIFE and OCEANS.

Married to Gloria for 49 years, Reed is proud father to Roman and Desiree, and has four amazing grandchildren.

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