Rebecca's new facebook profileWell, I guess I should start by saying “Happy New Year” to you all. Personally, I find this time of year quite hard. Everything seems to go flat after all the celebrations of Christmas and new year, the weather isn’t very good, and everyone seems to take the whole month to catch up with stuff they didn’t get time to do over Christmas. Also, my volunteer work doesn’t start until March, So I don’t get to go out much.

I am supposed to be keeping this blog positive, but I have decided to be more reflective this month. It seems appropriate for this time of year. Firstly, looking back on last year and what we achieved in getting this campaign up and running. We got a lot of interest from MPs and the public, and from you all lovely readers of this blog and viewers of this website. All in all, things have got off to a great start and I am confident that things will continue to go from strength to strength this year.

Looking forward to this year, I hope we will get more interest from MPs and that more will start to follow our campaign and get involved. I also hope that our scientific debates will get underway, and that scientists who don’t understand where we are coming from at the moment, will see and hear the evidence for themselves, and will come round to our way of thinking and join our campaign. What I hope most of all for this year though, is that we will continue to grow as an organisation and more people will be made aware of the huge dis-service that is being done to the animals who are suffering as a result of being experimented on and to us, the patients who are having to take drugs, that we know are potentially very dangerous.

The public relations company for the animal model community ‘Understanding Animal Research’ (UAR) has published a letter on twitter objecting to our petition. We find this extraordinary: UAR have repeatedly and publicly agreed to participate in a public scientific debate organised by the science-based campaign ‘For Life On Earth’ (FLOE), with the highly qualified medical experts at Europeans For Medical Advancement (EFMA), whose sole scientific focus addresses the false claim that results from experiments on laboratory animal models can be applied to ‘predict’ the responses of human patients in medical research. After 12 months, UAR still have not been able to supply the name of their main speaker for this event which is delaying the debate indefinitely. As finding effective cures and saving lives is the issue, we are astonished why their problem is not one of too many names, rather than none at all. By agreeing to a debate organised by FLOE, whose evidence is illustrated exclusively by the experts at EFMA, UAR are surely aware that the subject of the debate motion could only focus on EFMA’s clearly stated sole scientific concern: namely their opposition to the claim that animal experiments are able to ‘predict’ the responses of humans.

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Rebecca's new facebook profile

Hello readers, welcome to my blog. I will start of by telling you a little about myself. My name is Rebecca Groves, I’m 26 and live in Cornwall. I have multiple sclerosis, and am the founder and director of Patients Campaigning For Cures (PCFC).

Patients Campaigning For Cures is a non-profit organisation, set up to increase awareness of the dangers to human beings of taking drugs that have been tested on animals, and to encourage scientific public debate about this hugely important issue. At the moment, drugs that are intended for use on humans, are tested on animals first, to see if they appear safe. This method is not only over 100 years out of date, but has been scientifically proven that it does not work and is dangerous to humans. There are several reasons for this, firstly, animal bodies are completely different to humans and do not react to drugs in the same way that humans do. Also, often the animals that the drugs are tested on do not get the disease that a specific drug is meant to treat. For example, drugs that are designed to help MS patients like myself, are tested on rats. Rats do not naturally get MS. Rats are given things that imitate the symptoms of MS, and then given the drug in question and monitored to see how they react to it. Even if the rats do not react badly to the drug, it in no way proves that it is safe for human use, our bodies are just way too different.

The purpose of this blog is two-fold, the first reason for writing it is to raise awareness of our non-profit organisation and keep our supporters updated with our progress, and the second reason for writing this blog is to give people an insight into what it is like to live with MS. MS is a hard illness to live with, it affects various aspects of your life, from your mobility to your ability to swallow. The reason for this is that your central nervous systems controls pretty much everything your body does, and in someone with MS, their central nervous system is being attacked by your immune system and lesions are formed in your brain and spinal cord.

MS is a very complex disease and affects sufferers in different ways, although there are some symptoms that sufferers have in common, like fatigue. It is also very unpredictable and you never know how you will feel from one day to the next. This makes planning things very difficult. I try and get round this by making two sets of plans. For example, say I had planned to meet a friend for coffee, but I woke up and I wasn’t feeling well enough to go out, instead of cancelling it completely, I would ring my friend and say that I wasn’t well enough to go out, but they could come round to my house for a coffee, that way, I am not letting people down so much and I still get to see my friends. Sometimes the fatigue can be so bad, that just getting up and dressed can make you so exhausted, that you have to have a sleep straight after. Also, you never wake up feeling refreshed, you wake up feeling like you haven’t been to sleep, even when you have slept for 12 hours! I often feel guilty about spending so much time asleep but there is nothing I can do about it. I have been called lazy in the past, which I find very hurtful, as I am not at all lazy.

Another symptom I struggle with daily is pain. Although the amount of pain I get varies from day to day, there is never a single day where I don’t have any pain. I have some amount of pain 24/7, and no painkillers will take it away. The pain isn’t just in one place either, it is all over my body, there is not a single part of my body that doesn’t hurt! The type of pain varies too, sometimes it’s a dull ache, sometimes it’s like pins and needles, other times it’s an intense burning, and sometimes some of my limbs are completely numb. This makes daily tasks very difficult. For example when my hands hurt or are numb, I struggle to do really simple things like use a knife and fork or hold the phone. Personal care such as getting showered and dressed becomes really hard, that’s why I don’t wear things with buttons, as I often can’t do them up and one of the reasons I keep my hair very short, is so that I don’t have to worry about doing anything with it.

Well, talking of pain, my hands are now getting too painfully to type, so am going to have to finish up here for this entry. Thanks for reading and I will update you all soon.

The medical Board which provides our evidence has named Trans-Species Modeling Theory (TSMT) which is similar in significance to The Germ Theory of Disease and The Theory of Evolution . Like all great scientific theories, TSMT places many decades of observed practical examples – in our case the failure of results from experiments on laboratory animal models to predict responses in human patients – within a wider context, in our case current understanding of evolutionary biology and complexity, in order to explain exactly how and why those practical examples always have, and always will, occur.

Some organisations, who focus on the suffering of laboratory animals, ignore this current scientific evidence and continue to call for more comparative studies between animal tests and human biology based tests. Others suggest that we need more data to prove this position. Others suggest that only recently has enough data been available to stop experimenting on dogs only. This does not help Patients Campaigning for Cures. A critique entitled The Ethical the Implications for Humans in Light of the Poor Predictive Value of Animal Models, published in August 2014 in The International Journal of Clinical Medicine summarizes such positions as ‘scientifically unsustainable and unethical’. We hereby call upon the organisations who continue to hold these positions to please familiarize themselves with Trans-Species Modeling Theory and the Resources page at AFMA/EFMA, so that they can start to help Patients Campaigning For Cures at the earliest, not latest, opportunity.