Do you know why Clinical Trials Day is celebrated? Officially, it recognizes the day that James Lind, a surgeon mate for the British Navy, started what is often considered the first randomized clinical trial when he tested cures for scurvy. More importantly, as the Association for Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) puts it, “Clinical Trials Day is a well-deserved ‘time out’ to recognize the people who conduct clinical trials and to say ‘thanks’ for what they do every day to improve public health.”

With that in mind, it’s the perfect opportunity to raise awareness about the difference being made by clinical trials. That’s why Medix teammate Zak is sharing his story of a surprising diagnosis and the research that followed!

Where are you currently working, and what do you do for Medix?

“I recruit for our care management team in our New York office, and I have been with Medix for the last four and a half years!”

Clinical Trial MedixHow did you come to experience clinical trials firsthand?

“When I was diagnosed in 2017 with LHON (Lebers Hereditary Optic Neuropathy), my NeuroOpthamologist informed me that there were no treatments for this disease and to enroll in a clinical trial as soon as possible. This is a disease which caused me to go from 20/20 vision to legally blind and 20/400 within six months.  That is when I became eligible for a gene therapy eye injection clinical trial at the Baskom Palmer Institute (part of University Miami Health.) LHON would cause me to lose central vision in one eye then progress to the other, so the injection would be put into one eye to monitor the progression in regards to the visual acuity.”  

How have clinical trials impacted your life and career since that time?

“Being part of the clinical trial not only helps work towards a treatment and a cure, but it has educated me on the process of a trial, data, tests and patient advocacy. In terms of my eye sight and visual acuity, I am stable right now with no improvements, but I have become active in the community to help inform and educate people about trials and LHON.”

Why do you think clinical trials are important?

“Clinical trials are so important for diseases without a cure right now in order to figure out what needs to be done and to make progress in finding a treatment. They help connect individuals with doctors, research for education, as well as individuals in need across the world.  Communication and feedback is so important in driving further research and finding new medicine. They monitor how patients react to certain treatments to collaborate and improve it.”

Thank you for sharing your experience, Zak! His story is just one of many about the positive impact being made by the healthcare professionals who conduct clinical trials. Do you have a Clinical Trials Days story to add to the conversation? Join in the comments section below!