Turning hope into action for those living with rare diseases
Dr. David Fajgenbaum understands better than most what it is like to live on both sides of medicine. He has been both patient and caregiver, taking his experiences over the past 13 years to inform his work as a rare disease advocate and innovator, working to find ways to unlock the potential of existing drugs and repurpose them as new treatment solutions. Back in 2010, when he was a third-year medical student, he became critically ill. He was diagnosed with Castleman disease -- a rare immune disorder. He nearly died five times. At one point, he was even read his last rites in the hospital. For Dr. Fajgenbaum that was just the start of his journey. He would use his diagnosis as a call to action, working with his medical team to unlock the potential of an existing immunosuppressant drug, never before used to treat Castleman disease. He's been in remission over 9 years. Dr. Fajgenbaum is the author of the best-selling memoir, "Chasing My Cure: A Doctor's Race to Turn Hope Into Action," is on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, is the Co-Founder and President of the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network, and co-leads Every Cure, a nonprofit drug development organization focused on advancing repurposed treatments. Now, he joins our host -- journalist Brian Mastroianni -- to discuss how he turned his own hope into action and what we can learn from his story to work together to help build healthier societies for everyone.
You can listen to the episode below!