At one of many stops during his first presidential campaign, President Barack Obama promised a young boy that he would continue funding for stem cell research to cure the boy’s cancer. Now, the teenage boy has sent a letter to the White House to thank the commander-in-chief for keeping his word.
Gavin Nore, now a 15-year-old living in Fort Dodge, Iowa, explained the backstory of meeting the then-U.S. Senator at a campaign stop in 2007. During the brief conversation, Nore asked Obama if he would continue stem cell research during his presidency, and the President said that he would.
Six years later, in February 2013, Nore was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, at age 14. Nore explained in the letter that he was “cancer free” by August, but was later re-diagnosed, the Huffington Post noted.
“I had to have a stem cell transplant. I beat the battle once again,” Nore wrote in his letter.
“I would like to thank you [Obama] very much for continuing the research," Nore added in the letter. "If the research [hadn’t] continued, I wouldn’t be here today."
Here is the boy's letter in full:
Former President George W. Bush placed a ban on embryonic stem cell research in August 2001, which limited the amount of federal funding such research could receive. In March 2009, Obama signed an executive order to undo the ban, noting that “medical miracles do not happen simply by accident.”
“Rather than furthering discovery, our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values,” Obama said at the time. “In this case, I believe the two are inconsistent. As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering. I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research and the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly.
“ ... I cannot guarantee that we will find the treatments and cures we seek. No president can promise that. But I can promise that we will seek them actively, responsibly, and with the urgency required to make up for lost ground."
Photo Credit: Gavin Nore via Tumblr