Neurofibromatosis Research Conference in Florida

Last Monday at Bonita Springs, Florida, I spoke at an international conference of medical researchers on neurofibromatosis, the condition that made my daughter deaf.  Other than a handful of patient family representatives who were invited to provide a human perspective, the participants were research scientists and medical specialists from top unitiversties and research centers around the world.  I could understand little of what most of them said, but I hope they could understand me.

I pointed out that the time from Pearl Harbor to VJ Day was 3 years, 8 months and 6 days. If World War II could be fought and won in that time period, what are the obstacles to coming up with some workable tumor growth suppression agent in that time period? What are the obstacles to delivering a universal genetic disease screening tool, to assure early diagnosis and appropriate referral, within that time period? How can we overcome those obstacles? Remember that the perfect is often the enemy of the good, and this generation of kids with NF need reasonably good solutions now, not just the hope of perfect solutions when it’s too late to help them.

The same point about time and urgency can apply in many areas of life and work.  Think about it. If WWII could be won in 3 years, 8 months and 6 days, what is our excuse of letting so many endeavors drag out as long as they do?