Spring is the best time to celebrate life and remember all the good things that we have achieved to improve and protect human life. One of the organizations which contributed the most to the development of healthcare systems around the globe is the World Health Organization founded by the United Nations. WHO’s constitution came into force on April 7, 1948 – a date we now celebrate every year as World Health Day.
The main goals of the WHO are to provide leadership on matters critical to health, engage in partnerships when joint action is needed, shape the research agenda, support the dissemination of knowledge among all nations, set norms and standards in healthcare, and articulate ethical and evidence-based policies. Let’s remember the definition of health by the WHO:
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity
Although this definition is sometimes criticized for its spatial nature, it allows us to focus on the key goal: when we face a disease, we should learn how to defeat it. This focal point set by the WHO greatly helped our society to cope with the burden of communicable diseases, significantly increasing life expectancy in less than one century. However, we are still helpless when we find ourselves or our relatives hit by the incredibly painful, life-changing reality of age-related diseases.
A lot of us have personally experienced, or have someone we care for faced with, cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, or another age-related disease, almost all of which, sadly, are still incurable. We desperately try to put together as much money as possible so we can get the best treatments and the best therapies and thereby be cured. However, it dawns upon us that even if we had all the money in the world, there might not be a cure because we just haven’t found one yet.
This can change. The cures for these age-related diseases can be found; it’s just a matter of how fast we move forward. We could be the first generation to not succumb to the crippling effects of aging.
How do we move faster and protect ourselves from age-related diseases?
The problem is that most studies exploring the processes of aging and age-related diseases have been primarily government funded. The amount of money that any government allocates to basic science depends very much on the overall economic situation – which is, sadly, not stable around the globe. Even the U.S., one of the leading countries for aging research, is suffering from this instability.
A cut of over $5.8 billion from biomedical research funding is now being considered by the U.S. government, which, if it comes into effect, will slow down how fast we move forward. That could be a death sentence for a lot of people. Many might die from nasty diseases like cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s and heart disease because the cures won’t arrive in time. Reducing or even freezing research funding is a common theme in other countries as well, and it serves as a reminder as to how little power we have over the things that matter to us. At the same time, it shows us how private initiatives to support aging research are needed now more than ever.
This is why we at LEAF decided to create Lifespan.io
By crowdfunding research projects aimed at bringing the aging processes under reasonable medical control, we are not allowing progress to be dictated by changes that are not within our control, such as budget cuts or unfriendly policies. Developing Lifespan.io allows us to directly connect you with the scientific groups working on aging and age-related diseases. This puts control of scientific projects and progress into your hands and could lead to a world where the suffering caused by age-related diseases becomes a thing of the past.
Lifespan.io is fundraising for breakthrough research to help extend healthy human lifespan, and thanks to our community, we’ve done amazing work already: raising over $200,000 for companies and nonprofits working to overcome age-related disease, decrease the period of ill health during life, and address key societal issues being faced by our aging population.
We rely on the generous support of our volunteers to keep producing quality content, such as exclusive interviews with top researchers, scientific commentaries, and educational articles about aging and biology, as well as run crowdfunding campaigns. However, this is unsustainable if we want to support a lot more research projects and boost the reach and scope of our activities – we need more resources to engage with famous video bloggers, increase media coverage, make donor rewards more exciting, and improve the user experience on both the Lifespan.io and LEAF websites.
This is why we have launched the Lifespan Heroes – a monthly recurring campaign to help us grow faster and achieve more. What this means is that we’re asking you to be a Lifespan Hero by supporting us with monthly contributions, which will allow us to not only fund more research but also offer amazing community rewards.
Rewards for people serious about healthy longevity
We have a range of exciting rewards for our patrons. Get early access to future campaigns and content, join the team on our private chat server, and take part in our exclusive livestreamed monthly Journal Club, where you can discuss the latest exciting research and interact with researchers. This is your opportunity to make a direct and measurable impact in the longevity field. With your support, hopefully one day, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s, and other age-related diseases will never make us feel helpless again.
You don’t have to just watch people perish anymore. You could be part of the first generation to overcome the suffering of aging. #BeTheLifespan, and help us get rid of age-related diseases for good!