I don't want to do anything too ambitious. Maybe lose 5 pounds. Take a cooking class. Oh. There is one more thing. I'm going to cure a rare disease called NMO (Neuromyelitis Optica). A year ago, my 16-year-old daughter got the diagnosis. NMO is one of about 7,000 diseases that are so rare that little or no money is spent on research, prevention, medicines or cures -- the bottom line being they don't have profit potential. Last year, my husband Bill and I created a Foundation to do just that. We had a three-day symposium in November, and brought doctors in from Harvard, Stanford, the Mayo Clinic, Scripps, and even England and Japan, but the biggest deal was Patient Day (my daughter's idea; why can't I be more like her?) -- we flew in those who have NMO, and their families.
Now, for the first time, there's an NMO community. One day my daughter said, "Mom, this is bigger than you and me." She's right. That little piece of wisdom got me right out of my own personal fear and into warrior mode. If we find the cure for NMO, that might be the domino that knocks down MS and a lot of other autoimmune diseases. So NMO is going to stand for NO MORE ORPHANS.
But first things first: MY 2010 TO DO LIST:
1) CURE NMO (Neuromyelitis Optica)
2) Once that's done, begin curing all orphan diseases
3) Start cooking class
4) Lose 5 pounds
5) Lose five more if cooking class goes well
Having achieved success as a Hollywood makeup artist, cosmetics entrepreneur and TV infomercial pioneer, Victoria Jackson prefers to think of herself as “a goodwill ambassador for makeup.” An active philanthropist, Victoria’s newest charity is near and dear to her heart. The Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation is dedicated to funding basic science research to find answers that will lead to the prevention, clinical treatment programs and a potential cure for Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) Spectrum Disease. For more information, visit www.guthyjacksonfoundation.org.