Asked why he signed up for Fox Trial Finder, Dan Andrews answered simply, “To find a cure.” Dan, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in January at age 36, recently spoke to us about his willingness to “go full throttle” to find a cure and his active involvement in the PD community. Getting people into clinical trials, Dan believes, is a crucial step in identifying new treatments on the road to a cure.
Read Dan's story after the jump.
One Path to a Cure: “Find the Trials Near You that Need You”
When asked why he signed up for Fox Trial Finder, Dan Andrews answered simply, “To find a cure.”
Last January, Dan was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease at age 36. A relative newcomer to The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF), he’s already striving to make an impact in the Parkinson’s community. “When you have Parkinson’s, especially young-onset, you’re up against the clock,” Dan said. “Anything I can do to help, I’ll do it. I will go full throttle until we find a cure.”
A freelance journalist and photographer based in Knoxville, Tennessee, Dan is “100 percent open” about his Parkinson’s disease with his family and friends, as well as with readers of his blog. He came across Fox Trial Finder on MJFF’s Web site, which he visits often. Interested in learning more, he took part in a Foundation Webinar on the tool and its next-generation approach to streamlining the flow of volunteers into trials.
When Fox Trial Finder launched in July, Dan was among the first to complete a profile. He regularly checks in to see if he might be eligible for trials within driving distance of his home.
“Our progress toward improved treatments and a cure depends on getting more people — especially with PD — into trials,” said Dan, who has gained an appreciation for the urgency of the need for greater participation in studies. “We can’t afford to wait any longer. And Fox Trial Finder makes it easy to find the trials near you that need you.”
Dan also actively follows — and contributes to — the Foundation’s Facebook page. He’s made it his personal mission to help MJFF reach its goal of 100,000 “likes.” Encouraging his friends to join him, he said, “In one night, 70 of my friends liked MJFF on Facebook. I’m sure that we can get to 100,000 — and soon!”