On Thursday, December 10, 2009, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), introduced S. 2858 – “The Brittany Wilkinson Mitochondrial Disease Research and Treatment Enhancement Act of 2009”. Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), John Kerry (D-MA) and Robert P. Casey (D-PA) all signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation.
The house measure is a companion bill, HR 3502, which was introduced by Representative James McDermott (D/WA-7), introduced in July, 2009, and carries 29 co-sponsors representing a mix of democrats and republicans. Both measures call for the creation of an ‘Office of Mitochondrial Medicine’ within the National Institutes of Health (NIH); asks the NIH to develop a research plan to promote and coordinate efforts to educate researchers and health providers about mitochondrial disease; and for the NIH to award grants to increase research of mitochondrial diseases and to establish Mitochondrial Disease Centers of Excellence to promote research, education and mitochondrial medicine training.
The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation has an Action Center where you can find your legislator and also get information on how to send a letter asking for their support. You can go HERE to help advocate for this worthy cause!
I’ll post the link HERE shortly on where you can go to see full copies of the bill and/or download it. I’ll also be keeping you updated on the status of this bill!