Thursday, October 11, 2007

Toil in Anonymity

I read today about what seems to be a bit of an injustice, maybe not an injustice, but something with no equivalence. If you follow sports, primarily the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey club, you will have heard the news of Jason Blake's cancer diagnosis. While many people are diagnosed with cancer everyday, this one made the news. Jason has a form of leukemia - fortunately (?!) for him it's treatable; usual treatment is just one pill a day, with no chemo or radiation or other horrible treatments necessary. Thanks to the findings of a researcher, this is -if I may say- a tolerable form of cancer.

The story I read about today, was addressing how Jason Blake's diagnosis made major headlines, however so little attention is given to the researchers behind the treatment that Mr. Blake will be receiving. This little 'miracle' drug he will be taking was founded by a researcher that works not too far from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto and makes considerably less than this players salary of $4 million dollars per year. Jason is a well known hockey player, playing for a well known team as part of the most highly acclaimed hockey network in the world. While the researcher (Dr. Pawson) is well known in the researching community, that is where his fame ends.

My appreciation for researchers has been expanded in the last year. You see, I have this amazing friend who has completed her degree in Human Nutrition and will now go on to complete her Masters at McGill University. While attending univ, she has also been working in the lab, playing with the rats, aka researching. My conversations with her are certainly not about proteins and enzymes, because she'll lose me after the first sentence (most times). I have however seen her in action with her peers and this is where my appreciation for her passion reaches a whole new level.

To conclude, I simply want to acknowledge what goes on at the many research labs across the country, they enrich our lives by their hard work, sacrifice and continuous toiling in anonymity.

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