Why should we never give up on medical research? It's not just cures, cures, cures. It's jobs, jobs, jobs!
In his weekly column in The Week, former U.S. Senator Bill Frist cites the National MS Society as a leader in funding medical research and argues that we can't let up on our funding for medical research. The need is too great, and with increasing competition abroad, we need to keep investing in medical research in the United States to find a cure for diseases like MS and cancer. This applies to federal funding allocated by Congress, private industry like pharmaceutical companies, and especially community organizations like the National MS Society.
Bill Frist knows quite a bit about medical research and why advocates must continue to be strong in the face of adversity. He's a heart surgeon and served as the Senate Majority Leader from 2003 to 2007. His column particularly emphasizes the economic benefits of medical research - a perspective that I think is useful for MS Activists to know and understand.
With a tough economy and a political environment that seems to favor jobs over all else (including the environment, consumers, taxpayers, and health), MS Activists need to be able to speak the language of politicians if they want to have the maximum impact. Like anyone who works in sales knows - you have to understand your customer. Politicians want to talk about jobs, so let's talk to them about jobs. Medical research = jobs. Medical research = putting people back to work. Medical research = a winning issue for politicians (and a cure for MS!).