My name is Jake Lindamood, and when I was thirteen years old, I was (falsely) diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis.
My childhood was marked by adversity, with a drug-addicted mother and the loss of my father to lung cancer at a young age. Placed in the foster care system alongside my two brothers, we found temporary solace in a foster family in Southern California. Little did I know that a routine bout of bronchitis would set off a chain of events that would change my life forever.
My foster mother, alarmed by my coughing fit the night before, rushed me to the hospital. Doctors promptly tested my vitals and conducted a sweat test, a diagnostic tool used to identify Cystic Fibrosis (CF). As the test went on, my mind filled with an array of questions and fears. What is CF? How will it impact my life? Is there a cure or treatment? Will I die?
Sure enough, the test came back positive.
The weight of the diagnosis hit me like a freight train. At the age of thirteen, I was being told by medical professionals that my life expectancy would likely last until my mid-30s and that I would be infertile. After months of intense depression, I started to question things. Google became my constant companion in fulfilling my curiosity regarding the disease.
I learned that CF is a progressive, genetic disease that is usually found with 99% accuracy within six months of birth. With no record of this disease in our family and with no prior testing in my medical records, I was left confused. Why am I being tested for this disease now, especially considering that I was a skateboarder and a soccer player who had normal lung function for most of my childhood? Luckily, my brothers and I moved in with my aunt and uncle in Acton, MA, where our questions were finally answered at the Boston Children’s Hospital.
We, in fact, did not have CF. An unexplainable relief washed over me. The thought of living life past my mid-30s and having children in my future filled my dreams as a young teen. A fresh start for me began after that important news.
Back to the question of ‘Why Do I Do This?’. My experience of being diagnosed with CF led me to the path of 4G Clinical. After my undergraduate degree at Babson College, I was always interested in the healthcare industry, wanting to make a difference for patients across the globe. My false CF diagnosis gave me a glimpse into the perspective of the patient experience, likely filled with intense fear and uncertainty. I am proud to be working for a company that is dedicated to bringing new medicines to market by partnering with pharma/biotech companies through the clinical trial process. Anything I can do to help contribute is enough for me. That is why I do this.
Jake Lindamood, Marketing Manager at 4G Clinical, has over three years of experience in the RTSM industry in addition to two years of experience in product marketing and campaign management within the lighting industry. Jake uses his passion for storytelling as a source of inspiration in an industry built around...