No longer just passengers, patients are now co-pilots helping to navigate the future of medical progress. But until recently, the pace of progress has been slow. In some diseases, we still utter the words "we haven't seen a new treatment in decades" with a straight face. Decades. Are we seriously accepting this?
Donald E. Anderson, aged 73, a retired postal worker in Seattle, Washington, died recently. I didn't know Mr. Anderson, who lived at literally the opposite end of the U.S. from my home in New Hampshire, and he didn't know me. But he has had a lasting imprint on me and my family. We are linked forever, and I hope we can live up to his legacy.
When you see a tiny premature baby weighing less than two pounds hooked up to tubes and wires, not having had the opportunity to feel the loving embrace from their parents, and then you watch them progressively get better until they're standing right in front of you as a healthy seven-year-old child, to me, this is why we are here.