In addition to being the new full time fundraiser for the Methuselah Foundation, April Smith writes very entertaining and thought-provoking posts - in this case a pop culture account of the road that lead her into an interest in calorie restriction, healthy life extension and her current career move:
Since I've decided to take on this new challenge, I've gotten a lot of questions about "Why would you want to live longer?" "Aging is something that happens to all of us, why fight it?" "Isn't it selfish to want to cure aging?"
If you are wondering any of those things right now, I want you to try this experiment. Don't think about aging as it is happening to you: instead, picture the person you love most in the whole world. Then imagine that person getting older... not just getting a few gray hairs and needing reading glasses, but having to hold onto things to walk, afraid of going out for fear of falling on the ice and breaking a hip, perhaps even losing the sharpness of mind that drew you to him or her in the first place, perhaps unable to remember who you are. Being eaten alive by cancer cells, or barely holding onto life in an ICU somewhere, attached to feeding tubes and breathing machines and almost wanting to die but hanging on because life if just too precious to let it go, even in the midst of great pain.
Why is that inevitable? Why let that happen if you have a choice? Why would you accept that suffering, not for yourself but for someone you love, if there's anything, anything at all, that you could do to stop it?
We do, of course, have a chance and a choice - which makes us far luckier than most of the people who have ever lived. The technologies of radical life extension are, figuratively speaking, right around the corner. All that is missing is the funding, the widespread support, the declarations of intent. Just as happened for cancer, Alzheimer's, AIDS research and other worthy causes, this is a a time in which activism and education can make a real and vital difference to the future of medicine and length of our lives.