As we begin to turn the corner on vaccines for COVID-19, I am thankful for the hard work and dedication that the pharmaceutical industry has put toward this devastating pandemic. The nonstop focus on finding a vaccine to help protect Americans has surely been a daunting task, but it’s a task that the private sector is up to, and one where they continue to advance.
I am hopeful that this super-charged effort will become commonplace, not only for global pandemics but also for other lesser-known diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). I was the caretaker for my late husband, who suffered from this crippling disease, a rare condition that caused frequent challenges to his care because of a lack of knowledge of the disease. This was not dissimilar to the early days of COVID-19, when health care providers had more questions than answers.
It is vital that we find more cures for diseases – both common ones like diabetes and cancer and rare ones like my husband’s. We need research, innovation and, most importantly, answers. Unfortunately, I lost my husband to his illness, but I will not give up fighting for him. We need to support the biopharmaceutical industry so that they can develop vaccines and cures to CJD and other illnesses so that others don’t have to continue to go through what my family endured.
For caretakers, I know firsthand that hope is what keeps us going. Hope is what we need now more than ever, so I am counting on my legislators to continue supporting the pharmaceutical industry so they can find more cures.