I am a real fan of medical progress through science. Having met many drug researchers I know how it can take years and many millions of dollars to actually end up with a new, approved medicine. As you know, approval is based on clinical trials – trials where maybe a hundred or a few hundred people participate. If a drug is safe and effective and especially meets an unmet need, it typically gets approved. But it is in the months and years that follow that a more complete story develops. It is in this time following approval where we can...

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40-year-old Rhonda Craig of Lake Stevens, Washington is a no-baloney-type woman. Good thing. She has a tough job as a Washington State Trooper. She can find herself speeding along on a remote highway at night to pull over someone who is usually law abiding and compliant or someone who could be a deadly threat. Rhonda, a mother of three boys with the youngest age 3, is used to facing challenges. She is made of tough stuff. She also is a woman of action. So when a lump showed up on her neck about 2 years ago, a year after the...

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Over the weekend I began to worry if I have been unfair. Just last week in a webcast about the latest comprehensive treatments for brain cancer I urged patients to seek treatment, or at least a consultation, at an academic medical center where they have sub-specialists in neuro-oncology and related specialties. I do believe that is good advice. Beyond that, I find that I remain a "fan" of academic medicine for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that my participation in a single, university center clinical trial may have saved or lengthen my life as a...

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It was 13 years ago that I was diagnosed with leukemia. At that time I had a wife and two children: a boy, 6, and a girl, 2. Later, with a "green light" from my doctor, we chose to have a third child. I have previously written about how to tell your spouse, children, and co-workers about your diagnosis. But this time I wanted to share not my perspective, but rather, one of theirs. I was very much touched this past weekend when I received a solicitation letter from my eldest child, Ari. He's the 6-year-old who is now 19...

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This past week there has been swirling comment about bonuses on Wall Street, and my suburban Connecticut friends have been telling me about AIG neighbors who are feeling alternately angry, insecure, or shamed. I agree the system of bonuses was all wrong and that Wall Street types have to get connected to the real world the rest of us live in. And yes, I think a lot of these people who work or worked at companies virtually "owned" by us taxpayers should give the money back. I understand investment bankers and others are under pressure to make millions for investors...

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I am a big "real people" kinda guy. Even though I have two journalism degrees, one from UNC-Chapel Hill and one from Columbia, I objected a little to the old model of journalism where it was populated by staff writers and a "real person" was lucky if they could get their "15 minutes of fame" being quoted in an article or having a letter to the editor published. That whole model of "I am the reporter and you're not" has been turned on its head in the past year or two. Today was another sign of an end of an...

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I attended a funeral today. Ralph Goodman, former hospitality industry star, father of two young women, and devoted husband. Ralph died the other day in a Seattle suburb after a two year battle with inoperable brain cancer. I did not know Ralph well before his illness and I do not know his wife or children. However, Ralph reached out to me, a leukemia survivor and fellow member of his synagogue, after he received his diagnosis. We met for lunch, talked often by phone, traded emails, and spent an afternoon together at his home several weeks ago when Ralph wanted to...

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Each Spring for the past four years I have made a 3-4 day trip to Arizona with my son, Ari, now 18, to be a baseball fan and attend Spring Training games. This year we saw three games at three different stadiums. Each time the look of the crowd was different and, unfortunately, the waistlines of the men got progressively bigger. I am worried about them. At the first game was the typical Seattle crowd – pretty active folks and not a lot of obesity. But game #2 the next day was in fashionable Scottsdale where San Francisco Giants fans...

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That day in April 1996 is still a vivid and unpleasant memory. That was the day my doctor told me I had leukemia, CLL, a disease I’d never heard of and had to work at understanding. Fortunately, over the almost 10 years since then, I connected with the very best experts in the field and was lucky enough to receive experimental therapy that has, so far, killed off millions of cancer cells and kept my leukemia at undetectable levels. I, like many of you, am in remission. But by no means do I think I am cured. I accept the...

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I have blogged before about my 12-year-old daughter Ruth and our 3-year battle against a rare gastrointestinal, usually autoimmune condition called eosinophilic gastroenteritis or “EG.” You may recall, it took us months to find out what we were dealing with, why Ruth’s stomach was painfully inflamed and why that inflammation led to chronic anemia that had to be corrected by periodic iron infusions. Ruth ended up missing 70 days of school last year, and you can imagine how that upended normal life in our family. Some of you are all too familiar with the anxiety of not knowing if this...

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Page last updated on April 25, 2019