Spring Point Project Gains Support of Lions Clubs

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 General News
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MINNEAPOLIS, July 29 The Lions Clubs of Multiple District5M (MD5M) recently declared its commitment to support Spring Point Project, aMinnesota non-profit organization created to expedite the affordable andwidespread availability of pig donors of islet tissue for diabetes care.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071214/CLF057LOGO-b )

Spring Point Project operates a biosecure facility, known as the DiabetesResearch and Wellness Foundation (DRWF) Islet Resource Facility, wherehigh-health source pig donors are developed. The Diabetes Institute forImmunology and Transplantation of the University of Minnesota works inconjunction with Spring Point Project by conducting the preclinical andclinical trials. In this partnership, the two organizations provide thescience and the source needed to move toward a cure for diabetes.

Helping to advance this research, The Lions and Lioness Clubs of MD5M, adivision of the International Association of Lions Clubs, has established theMinnesota Lions Diabetes Foundation Inc. and plans to allocate funds to SpringPoint Project. The MD5M will also assist by publicizing and promoting SpringPoint Project to its members.

"Generous contribution and dedication, like that of the Lions Clubs, helpsbring Spring Point Project closer and closer to a diabetes cure," says SpringPoint Project CEO Henk-Jan Schuurman, PhD, who is an experienced researcher inthe field of xenotransplantation -- the transplantation of living cells,tissues or organs from one species to another.

"We appreciate all supporters of our mission," Schuurman adds. "SpringPoint Project is thriving thanks to those commitments, and we continue to seekfinancial support, as the path to a cure for diabetes is expensive."

A longtime supporter of diabetes research, the MD5M specifically upholdsorganizations and entities that promote and conduct diabetes related research,treatment and education programs and projects.

"The activities and goals of Spring Point Project are consistent with thatof the MD5M Diabetes Committee, so gaining support from the Lions Clubs is anatural fit," says William Bard, Chair of the MD5M Diabetes Committee. "We areexcited for the establishment of the Minnesota Lions Diabetes Foundation andto be an advocate for Spring Point Project."

The Lions Clubs is an international network of 1.3 million men and womenin 202 countries and geographic areas who work together to answer the needsthat challenge communities around the world. Beginning in 1917, theassociation has provided millions of people with the opportunity to givesomething back to their communities. For more information about the LionsClubs, visit www.lionsclubs.org.

The Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation, a not-for-profit worldwidenetwork based in Washington, D.C., also has made a substantial contribution toSpring Point Project. It has donated more than $30 million toward the cure fordiabetes research, including a $6.2 million grant to build the DRWF IsletResource Facility.

The Ryan Companies U.S., a leading national commercial real estate firmled by third-generation family members, is another major donor to Spring PointProject. Pat and Ann Ryan and Jim and Colleen Ryan have contributed$3 million. Their donation included personal gifts and contributions throughthe company. In addition, the company built the facility in which Spring PointProject's research is conducted. For more information about the RyanCompanies, visit www.ryancompanies.com.

To contact Spring Point Project, visit www.SpringPointProject.org. Tocontact the Diabetes Institute for Immunology and Transplantation, visitwww.diabetesinstitute.org. To contact Diabetes Research & WellnessFoundation, visit www.diabeteswellness.net.Contact: Molly Kersten R/P Marketing Public Relations (419)241-2221 mkersten@r-p.com


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