A Year End Message From Methuselah Foundation

The black market for human organs made headlines in 2009. What didn't make the daily news were the men, women and children who died each day because they did not get an organ or because the transplant they had failed. Failed to give them a long, healthy life. We can't stand by and let people die, or live in poor health, when an alternative is possible. That's why Methuselah Foundation invested in Organovo this year. We believe that Dr. Gabor Forgacs (Biological Physics, University of Missouri) and the team at Organovo are creating a better way to replace aging or diseased organs.

When Thomas Klauset Aurdal, a 23 year old student in Norway, heard we were supporting the work of Organovo, he sent a $1000 contribution. According to Thomas, who had a heart transplant when he was only 16 years old:

"I can see a world where dying patients don't have to risk death while waiting for a donor organ from a dead person and where the patient doesn't have to take a heavy immunosuppressant drug. Future generations of transplantation patients will have a better chance of getting the organs and they will have a better quality of life and life expectancy than I have."
Thomas knows firsthand the dangers and implications of the current model of organ replacement. He dreams of a better system that doesn't take away a teenager's chance for a long healthy life. The perfect organ supply model for Thomas would:

1. Bypass the supply-demand chain.
2. Eliminate the need for immunosuppressant drugs, which accelerate cancer and senescence.
3. Avoid the need for donors, resulting in lives saved.
4. End global organized crime based on illegal organ trade.

We share Thomas's dream and know the discoveries and breakthroughs that lead to new organs will be fabulously useful in regenerative medicine all along the way.

We call our long term strategy MLife Sciences (it is one of three strategies of the Foundation). Simply stated, it is where your donations go to be sure there is money available to turn promising research into practical solutions. Life saving solutions. Solutions that lead to the possibility of you - of Thomas - of your family, living a long, healthy, vibrant and productive life.

Thomas liked the idea of investing in proven research and development but knew his donation was too small to invest directly in a regenerative medicine company. $1000 is a very small amount to a venture capitalist but it's a lot of money to a student. But making a donation to Methuselah Foundation allows you to give whatever amount you choose. No donation is too small. If each of us makes a contribution, together we can become major contributors to a new, better, promising way to extend the lives of everyone suffering from organ failure.

Each contribution to the MLife Science Fund will provide financial support for companies working in the research and development of long term life extension solutions. This funding depends on individual donors like you and Thomas.

"The MLife Sciences initiative to support Organovo will bring transplantation medicine from the dark ages to modern times where compatible organs are available for everyone. Future generations of transplant patients will have a much better life expectancy than I have and someone needing a transplant will have a better chance of getting it. I'm proud to have the opportunity to be a supporter of MLife Sciences." - Thomas Klauset Aurdal
At this time of year many of us make tax deductible contributions to nonprofit organizations. Please accept my personal assurance that your contribution will be put to good use. Consider matching Thomas's gift of $1000 but, remember, every gift is important, no matter what the amount.


Together we can make a real difference. We can make a difference for Thomas, our parents, friends and children, who may be affected by aging and organ disease and failure. Give generously. Give the gift of life. It's hard to imagine a better way to celebrate the season and end the year.

Dave Gobel
Founder and CEO, Methuselah Foundation

PS We have some great products you can buy to show your support for extending healthy life. They make thoughtful but inexpensive gifts - order by tomorrow, December 15 at our Long Life Shop to receive them by December 24.

PPS Your contribution will be put to use to invest in the best, most promising technologies to ensure a future where no one is dependent on an organ donor, lives in fear of rejection of a donor organ, or has their life cut short by organ failure.