Why We Help – A Story from the Founder

Why we help

It began when when a person with ALS asked me: “If you had this disease, what would you be doing?”

In other words: Would being a scientist lead me to different choices, give me better options, or provide some sort of advantage? I had helped ALS patients for several years, but I had never thought about it that way. I would occasionally translate scientific articles into plain English; explaining what it meant for patients, and how they could put the knowledge to practical use. But I’d never considered the perspective… “What if it were me?”

I concluded that, if it were me, I would use all of the scientific technology and research at my disposal to identify the root cause, identify the safest and most promising potential therapy, and pursue it at all costs. In fewer words – precision medicine.

But it would require more than just the scientific knowledge to propose a treatment. It would also require an intimate understanding of the industries involved, the regulatory landscape, and the unseen factors influencing outcomes. It would require a healthcare provider that understood of all this and was willing to participate. It would require a professional network willing to align with those goals. And the biggest hurdle of all – it would require the ability to motivate pharmaceutical companies to participate.

That’s a tall order for a patient to handle on their own. While dealing with a terminal condition, it would be impossible. But for a scientific business, it’s just a day in the life.

So that is where we began. Along the way I also discovered that it is far more rewarding to work for people than businesses. Many professionals have volunteered their time and services because they believe it’s a worthy cause. As a result, Verdant is now one of the most innovative scientific businesses, and the only scientific patient advocacy organization available to individual people.