Turning Hope into Action: Introducing New Lavin Speaker David Fajgenbaum
Faced with a life-threatening illness with no known cure, David Fajgenbaum made it his mission to find one. In his beautiful memoir Chasing My Cure, Fajgenbaum explores how his fight for survival led to a revolution in rare disease research.
David Fajgenbaum was the picture of health. A twentysomething med student and former Georgetown quarterback, he was soon startled to find himself experiencing extreme fatigue and organ failure with seemingly no explanation. When he was eventually diagnosed with Castleman’s Disease—an illness that presents like a cross between cancer and an autoimmune disorder—it was clear the treatments available weren’t going to be enough to save his life. Rather than accept his fate, he spearheaded an incredible search for a cure. His efforts have resulted in a pioneering new drug, a tentative remission, and a radical approach to medical research that involves crowdsourcing world-class researchers.
In addition to leading the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network—where is is a co-founder and Executive Director—Fajgenbaum authored his powerful, life-changing story. Chasing My Cure has been compared to the Pulitzer Prize finalist When Breath Becomes Air, and it’s hailed by Grit author Angela Duckworth as a “page-turning chronicle of living, nearly dying, and discovering what it really means to be invincible in hope.” Today, Fajenbaum uses his story to illustrate how questioning the status quo can lead to profound break-throughs.