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It can be hard to remember, for those of us passing into middle age, how horrible the autoimmune epidemic was in the early decades of this century. Nowadays our main concern is global warming, which has forced the evacuation of several large cities. But at least the people being evacuated are healthy. Millions died horrible deaths due to a wide variety of autoimmune agents and it hit hardest in those areas least able to combat it. Palliative care was the best that could be hoped for. That is, until the AAI (antiautoimmune) vaccine was developed. Autoimmune disease has since gone the way of smallpox and polio.

The Sire Project, based on research positing a possible universal immunorestorative gene, was incorporated under the laws of California on August 10, 2026 by Ellen Schreiber, M.D., Rajiv Chatterjee, M.D. and Frank Tufano, M.D., of the Semillas University Biology Department. It remained a conjectural exercise until the legacy immunorestorative (LIS) gene was serendipitously identified in a blood test done on an orphaned male infant on April 21, 2029. What happened in the intervening years, in broad outline, is well known, and one of the triumphs in the history of medicine. Under the auspices of the Project in coordination with 206 national health agencies, 2,367,885,470 vaccines were given over the space of five years, with no part of the world left untreated. With a 99.992% consent rate by the mothers, plasma was harvested from 26,792 donors. Recent advances in gene technology allow the production of vaccines from the existing stock, obviating the need for more donors. An extra blessing bestowed by the Project, and which outlives it, is Kyodai, the network formed by the donors and their families, which is based in the Project’s former Guest House and has contributed greatly to international understanding.

Having achieved its purpose, the Project handed off its vaccination program to the United Nations World Health Organization and formally dissolved on May 2, 2065. At the request of Dr. Tufano, its last Medical Director, I assembled the following account of my part in the early days of the active phase of the Project, where I was in day-to-day contact with the Sire.

To satisfy public curiosity I have given a detailed account of how Project goals were achieved during its period of most intense activity. This account is based on a diary I kept at the time. Because my writing style has changed so much (perhaps in some ways not for the better), and to make this account more accessible to readers, I have recast my notes as a third person narrative, in chapter format so that it can be digested in small bites. There is a lot of densely presented information here, and it cannot be an uninterrupted narrative. Digressions are necessary to get all the information in. It is best to read only a little bit at a time, or maybe skip around. I have left in some repetition because it describes such an unusual world that the reader will have to be constantly re-oriented to it.

The reader should be warned that this account includes many details of a clinical and explicit nature, and recounts dreams and reflections that I myself experienced as a young woman in such close proximity to the Sire. I understand these details will be useful to physiologists and psychologists, though of course the context can never be replicated. Finally I have tried to convey the youthful apprehensions and excitements of a young woman who knows she is very fortunate to be where she is and tries to be helpful.

I have also written a Chinese version of this account, which I hope the authorities will publish without excisions.

I would like to thank Semillas State University for the use of their archives on the Sire Project, as well as Dr. Tufano, Elaine Schreiber, Marikit Schreiber, Pari Chatterjee who handles Dr. Chatterjee’s estate, Jonathan Alkaras, Teodora Garcia, M.D., Shonda Sterling, Piotr Bombogor of the Chukchi Autonomous Okrug, Effie Hatwood, Ludmilla Woronov, Haleen van Dijk, Chione Mostasa, M.D., Matilda Blochenberger, and Ethel Canworthy.

Also thanks to my husband En-lai (Michael), who has been most forbearing and forgiving; many others I have forgotten to name; and Prof. Francis E. Campbell of the Semillas English Department for his many stylistic emendations.

And finally, of course, thanks to our Project’s Sire, Khalil D. Schreiber, to whom this account is dedicated, and to whom so many owe their lives. As we deal with global warming, let’s not forget how much better off we are due to the elimination of autoimmune disease.

“When you drink the water, remember the spring.”

— Zheng Xuan

Angela Chin Huang, M.D.

Hong Kong

August 1, 2069

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