I had breakfast this morning in Las Vegas with my friend, Dave Garcia. Dave is a pit boss on the graveyard shift at the Belagio Hotel where they made the modern day Ocean’s buddy movies. Dave is also a 52-year-old chronic lymphocytic leukemia survivor. He reached out to me online and we have been friends since soon after his diagnosis in 2002. Dave is a father of two young kids. He dreams of seeing them grow up. But, understandably, he worries. Some days more than others. Today was his day to see his oncologist and get the latest blood test...

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No, I am not talking about meeting on Match.com and then getting together at a coffee shop for a date. I am talking about being diagnosed with a serious illness, putting yourself out there online, and corresponding with someone else, across town, across the state or around the world who has the same diagnosis. That of course, is nothing new. Many of us have been doing that since the mid-90’s at least. But here is what is so cool – time and time again. It’s when I get to meet someone in person who I’ve known for years in a...

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I am not the best with remembering birthdays and anniversaries. But I think this is Patient Power’s 6th anniversary. It has been an interesting ride. Six years ago I was a vice president at the company I founded, HealthTalk.com. There were about 50 people there and I had sought venture capital five years earlier when treatment was imminent for my chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). The VCs came in with six million dollars of investment and a plan to combine our talk shows for patients with an approach to have patients urge their doctors to write prescriptions for certain treatments. A...

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I didn’t know Elizabeth Edwards when we were both students at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. But I certainly got to know her from a distance years later as she campaigned for her husband, John, and then publically spoke about her fight against advanced breast cancer that had spread. As she told an interviewer in 2007: "When I was first diagnosed, I was going to beat this. I was going to be the champion of cancer. And I don't have that feeling now. The cancer will eventually kill me. It's going to win this fight.” As you...

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Exciting Time with World Renowned Experts from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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I am really excited about serving as the emcee for next week’s Personalized Medicine World Conference in Mountain View, California near San Francisco. I also will be the moderator of a panel discussion on patient empowerment. As I prepare, I am interviewing the panelists and their stories are very inspiring. One panelist is Bonnie Addario. Bonnie had been an oil company executive in the Bay Area. She began having chest pain. Was it her heart? No. Was it a nerve problem? No. Doctors were stumped. Bonnie was frustrated, but she was also a woman of action – a “powerful patient.”...

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You are an individual right? To your mom and dad you are/were like no other. Hopefully your family and friends continue to see you as one-of-a-kind. Had you considered your doctor should see you that way too? Not as yet another one with diabetes, or heart disease, or cancer, but as a singular human being with biology that may be different from even the next person through the door with the same diagnosis. This is the age of “personalized medicine” and it will accelerate in 2011. It is our responsibility as patients to ensure the power of this concept is...

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Without having one myself, I am pretty familiar with bone marrow transplant as a potential curative and lifesaving approach. After all, it was invented in my hometown of Seattle and I’ve met Dr. Donall Thomas who won a Nobel prize for developing the approach. I have met people who have been given a new lease on life because of transplant, I’ve known people who have died when transplant did not work for them or complications overwhelmed them, and I know many doctors who are transplant experts. I know how finding a perfect match can be hard – especially when the...

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The Bottomline at ASH for Patients from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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Developments from the American Society of Hematology meeting in Orlando, Florida. A Brighter Path for Treating Patients

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February 2011
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