It is not just doctors that can change the course of diseases. It actually has NEVER happened with just doctors. You play a role too. YES YOU.
I’m finding some themes in my research.
The times of acceleration came from a rallying cry of the community/ patient. The spurts of medical advancement are from outside the medical community. The spurts happen when the “outside” and “inside” worlds unite. When people challenge and support (financially and personally) the medical community.
Let’s talk about AIDS. AIDS is an excellent example.
While the nation struggled with homophobia, the gay community pulled together and united against this disease. Starting with just 6 men in 1982 the Gay Men’s Health Crisis was opened. It was a force. They would NOT be ignored.
Scientists also discovered the WHY behind this disease. In the search for the WHY of cancer, they discovered the WHY of AIDS. They discovered a retrovirus! The scientists were beaming.
They announced that they would have a vaccine available for “testing in about two years.”
And what did the gay community say? NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
We don’t have time for “testing.” People are dying. They went farther than those previously. “AIDS sufferers who have nothing to lose, are more than willing to be guinea pigs.” The patient was challenging the science community and saying experiment on me! I choose to drink the poison. Let me try and live or let me die in the name of science, in the name of my community that will follow.
The message was caught by the media and it spurred a change in medicine as we know it. The patient realized THEY had power. Together they can demand change.
It inspired another minority group…women! It’s really crazy to me how women are so slow on these things. How we are so splintered. How we only hurt ourselves. Why do we suck?
How long it took for women of breast cancer to start speaking up. No man would accept what they were going through. They started questioning the body disfigurement that was synonymous with breast cancer. Seeking out dangerous trials and putting themselves in them. Many wouldn’t survive and there it is again…progress at the suffering of others.
So you play a role. You do. We all do. Nothing happens without us, the outsider, the patient.
Cancer fucked with the wrong family.