Every so often I hear of an initiative that not only excites me but inspires me: to think bigger, go further, trust the unknown. The idea that the researchers at the Michael J. Fox Foundation are willing to try an experiment at the International Space Station is the type of science that can inspire an entire new generation of researchers. Please see the video below:
Science is a tough business and tolerance for risk is needed to be successful. Failure is a part of everyday life (a feeling shared by fans of the NY Mets). Will this initiative succeed? I hope so but if I look at the statistics, odds are that it won't---but in the end, it may be the process that matters most.
As someone who was diagnosed at age 30, I approach my life with both optimism and realism. We are too smart, too motivated, too innovative to not unlock this disease but will we win the game in my lifetime? Often times I am not sure of the answer and then a research study like this comes along and I am convinced we are capable of amazing outcomes.
When I learned that the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space would be teaming with MJFF, I was not the only one in my house who was inspired. My six year old daughter--who is mainly interested in ballet, the Mets (brainwashing: complete), and perfecting a dance she has created called "The Cat Boogie"-- has taken a large interest in the research. Science has become exciting and interesting to a child (and I am confident that she is not the only one) and for that reason alone, this initiative is already successful.
By their participation in this space research, the Michael J. Fox Foundation has inspired me to go further in my own efforts: fundraising, participating in clinical trials, engaging other patients. Will this science yield results? Well, looking at the change in my daughter I think it already has but to quote a slogan from the Amazin' Mets: Ya Gotta Believe.