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Fri., Dec. 20, 2013, noon

Small Miracles

In Balsas, Ecuador, an isolated community, many of its citizens have Laron syndrome, a genetic mutation that causes dwarfism – and may hold a key to preventing cancer as well as diabetes.  If scientists can develop the pharmacological substance that would mimic Laron syndrome, it could be given to healthy adults to prevent the person’s growth hormone from binding to growth hormone receptors.

Two women I know have metastatic cancer; two women who live life with passion, generosity, kindness and grace, their futures uncertain. Imagine the miracles that may come with a cure for this ravaging disease. Imagine the answer lies in a remote place with modest and generous people.

Says one mother of her daughter: “If my daughter can help save other people, then we’ll do it … with pleasure.”

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.