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   I’m not certain if you are aware, but, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have had my life saved by physicians at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) not once, but several times. As you might imagine, I am passionate about the research that goes on daily at the NIH – that saves lives and advances medical research. As a result of my experience and in gratitude for the extraordinary care I continue to receive, I became a board member of Friends of Patients at the NIH, an organization outside of, but supportive of the NIH Clinical Center by providing financial support to NIH patients who are in need of financial assistance so they can stay in their protocols.
   I invite you to join me to be a part of this effort, one that supports critical research that is saving lives and also creating tomorrow’s cures!  Who knows, maybe you, your spouse, or your grandchildren might one day benefit from NIH’s amazing, leading-edge medical science breakthroughs.
My personal story with the NIH began thirty-nine years ago when I was diagnosed with Melanoma, a virulent form of skin cancer. To say that my family and I were terribly frightened is far from an understatement. Fortunately, I was accepted by the NIH and by a young, extraordinarily dedicated, talented, and now a renowned researcher, Dr. Steven Rosenberg.  Steve saved my life. Subsequently, I also took part in thyroid and prostate cancer protocols – 21 biopsies later, I continue to be followed by the extraordinary NIH research clinicians.
    Prior to my diagnosis and treatment, I had no idea of what went on at the large mysterious Bethesda campus even though I passed it frequently while traveling Old Georgetown Road or Wisconsin Avenue.  What I found out was that, this virtually unknown to me entity, is, in fact, the world’s largest medical research hospital. Many firsts in medicine have been developed there; for example: the discovery and implementation of immunotherapy for cancer treatment (by my doctor, Dr. Rosenberg!), the first use of lithium for depression, and treatments for HIV/AIDS patients that affords them normal life spans. All these, and more, continue to advance medical science and save lives.
When very sick patients, many from all over the world, enroll in treatment trials, many have to  put their normal lives on hold. On-going expenses back home like rent, mortgage payments, utility costs, and child care continue to pile up.  Some patients face great hardships in order to stay in protocols. That’s when FRIENDS steps in and provides this critical financial, social and local housing support when needed, and by doing so, patients can stay in their studies and thus continue to contribute to the development of vital medical science. It’s a win, win all around! (www.FriendsatNIH.org)
   Here’s how you can help join Joyce and me in supporting patients. We are donating $5,000 to FRIENDS – and we are asking all to whom we are sending this to collectively provide a matching amount no matter your individual level of financial support. Click here to donate: https://friendsatnih.z2systems.com/donation.jsp?campaign=18&
   Thanks for “listening,” and for your support,
   Jerry Sachs

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The Friends of Patients at the NIH