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STOP THE ROLLBACK: Help MEDICC advance US health cooperation with Cuba

STOP THE ROLLBACK: Help MEDICC advance US health cooperation with Cuba

You have the power…and your family’s lives could depend on it.

You don’t know Judy Ingels or Mick Phillips. And they don’t share the same home state or even politics. But they both go to Cuba to receive treatment for their stage-4 lung cancer. Mick’s doctors in Wisconsin gave him six months to live: that was six years ago. Now he’s not only alive, but at work every day. He credits his comeback to CIMAvax, a Cuban biotech cancer therapy that uses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.

Judy IngelsJudy just started treatment, her story carried on BBC. She hopes to be among the 80% of 5,000 CIMAvax patients who have extended their lives and quality of life.

But there’s a US policy hitch: The US only permits Americans to get emergency care once in Cuba, not for pre-existing conditions like lung cancer. So patients like Judy and Mick travel at their own risk.

 

What’s more, the June 16th announcement by President Trump threatens to derail joint research on cancer, diabetes and other diseases…and keep Cuban biotech advances from reaching Americans.

 That’s where MEDICC comes in.

MEDICC recommendations were adopted last fall by President Obama, for the first time permitting joint US-Cuban research on new medications and US testing of Cuban ones—dumping the added red tape in place for decades. Now CIMAvax is in clinical tests in the United States, and other products are in the pipeline for FDA trials.

We can and must move that cooperation forward: only together can our two countries head off new infectious diseases and epidemics; respond effectively to hurricanes, oil spills and other disasters; and keep smugglers from bringing drugs into our communities, especially the most vulnerable ones.

For 20 years, MEDICC has been pushing open the door to health cooperation with Cuba. Despite the new obstacles, on this 20th anniversary, we pledge to widen that opening. But we need your help to do it…at this critical time for health and health care in our country.

Take a look at MEDICC´s programs here: against all odds, you’ll see how effective they’ve been in opening US cooperation with Cuba—the first country to eliminate mother-to-child HIV/AIDS transmission; a country where infant mortality is lower than ours and life expectancy just as long, with fewer disparities; and according to Save the Children, the best place in Latin America to become a mother.

At MEDICC, we work so that everyone can travel to Cuba, from people like Judy Ingels and Mick Phillips, to health professionals, policymakers, business executives and community leaders.  People who understand diseases have no borders, and neither should our joint efforts to fight them. Thinking people who know cooperation is a two-way street. That everybody benefits when we’re open to sharing and learning from countries like Cuba and from our own vulnerable communities.

We need cooperation to protect the health of our families, our country, the world. And that’s a fact. Help us put all our health at the top of a strengthened US-Cuba cooperation agenda: contribute to MEDICC’s 20th Anniversary Fund. 

You have the power, and we’re counting on you!

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