Consider Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation (CMMRF)
By Alan F. Rhody
Consider; if you will, the family members, friends and perhaps even yourself, who have been afflicted with such illnesses as peripheral arterial disease (PAD), or diabetes, or arthritis, or Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) for which there is a 75% mortality rate, or heart failure, or stroke, or pancreatitis or even heart attacks and stroke (the leading cause of death in America). Consider for a moment the lives of those individuals after having been struck down by one of those afflictions. How have their lives changed and been degraded; and what levels of pain do they manage on a daily basis? Have they lost much of their lives to simply dealing with conditions that have robbed them of their special talents, skills and abilities to perform everyday tasks, or work in their chosen vocation?
Now consider if there was relief in sight for those who have been struck down by one of those afflictions. What if we could stop the amputations associated to PAD and control the pain by restoring blood vessels? What if we had a means of stimulating the pancreas to produce its own insulin, thus eliminating the need for testing and insulin injections in Type 1 diabetics? What if there was a means of testing for abdominal aortic aneurysms as well as a means of reducing the inflamed cells that lead to a rupture of the aorta? What if we could replace sections of the heart that have been damaged and destroyed by heart attacks? What if damaged brain cells could be repaired after suffering from a stroke? These and many other research projects are going on today with some having near term solutions at hand for some of our most common and devastating afflictions.
The Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation (CMMRF) is the premier organization that is taking on these challenges and other research projects, as well as finding the solutions to afflictions that have plagued mankind for as long as history will record.
CMMRF was incorporated on March 6, 1986. The driving force behind this new corporation was interest shown by Most Puissant General Grand Master Ben Mandlebaum, of the General Grand Council, Cryptic Masons International. MPGGM Mandelbaum and two other individuals found the need to develop a foundation that could provide direct support to the Indiana University School of Medicine based upon the critical research that they were performing into areas of medical science that commonly afflict the majority of Americans in everyday life. These men then created that foundation to serve as an outreach project that could be supported by cryptic masons everywhere. Currently, the research team is headed up by Dr. Michael Murphy who has made tremendous strides in eight separate areas of research. For a moment, let us examine some of the fields of research that are being looked at with significant results having been achieved.
1. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) – This is an enlarging of the aorta that sub- sequentially leads to death through a rupture that could occur at any time, without warning. There are no tests for detection of this condition, until now. This condition has been found to leave a specific protein that can now be detected. Warning those afflicted with it, so that they can receive treatment prior to rupture is a life saving accomplishment. Further, treatments for inflammation are being developed that can reduce the risk of AAA and subsequent heart attacks.
2. Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) – This disease afflicts millions of people and is responsible for 53,000 amputations per year. Those who have it live in chronic and disabling pain. Currently, a system is being worked on that allows adult stem cells to be introduced into the afflicted areas of the legs, which generates new blood vessels and eliminates the pain and tissue atrophy.
3. Heart failure – Everyone knows what heart failure is and the consequences of it. Right now the Indiana University School of Medicine is working on a means introducing healthy adult stem cells into the afflicted and damaged portions of the heart in an effort to repair those areas, and restore circulation. This is currently in Phase II trials and headed quickly to Phase III trials, which will incorporate a large population of those with heart disease into their trials.
4. Diabetes – Diabetes essentially is a condition where the pancreas can no longer produce the insulin that the body requires, thus sugars and carbohydrates can not be broken down leading to elevated levels of glucose. Through the use of adult stem cells from volunteers, research is on going that will allow the pancreas to be stimulated into producing its own insulin. Think about what that means to a child or adult suffering with Type 1 diabetes.
Four other similar projects are underway researching cancer, stroke, arthritis and pancreatitis. Each project has had similar success and is on its way towards bringing relief to patients that have been afflicted by these diseases and now rendered disabled or dead prematurely.
Consider; if you will, how our families’ lives, our friends’ lives and even our lives will be affected when these critical areas of research come to fruition. Consider all of these people and what parts of their lives will be restored. And, consider how disability can be turned around into ability. Ability to live pain free, ability to not be dependent on testing and injections of insulin, ability to walk once again and spend time with family and friends. Consider all of this and more; and giving millions of people with no future, other then a future of suffering; life as it should be. Consider!!!
As York Rite Masons, we are defined by our charity and outreach to our communities. This is our purpose and it is our mission. We make the world a better place based upon the programs we elect to support, as well as our charitable spirit. It is great that we have our fellowship and support for the craft. Our ritual provides identity to us, but our outreach is what truly defines us. Solutions are at hand with the support of all Cryptic Masons.