In 1997, Carol Covin's friend had inoperable stomach cancer. Desperate for a cure, he stumbled across an obscure science library that held the papers from a physicist who had developed a protocol to treat cancer. The physicist died in 1986 without taking the protocol through clinical trials, but before he died, he endowed a private library to hold his papers. These papers,found by Carol's ill friend, gave him a protocol to follow. In six weeks, his 30-pound (yes, that's correct -30 pounds)tumor was gone.
Unfortunately, he died shortly afterwards, not from the cancer, (which was gone) but from the liver damage he had sustained during the five-year growth of his tumor.
Before he died, Carol's friend gave her a copy of the protocol, advising that as all the ingredients were natural, it could never be patented and would never attract the financing necessary to put it through clinical trials. She put it away for 7 years.
But she never forgot about it. Finally,Carol felt compelled to contact the library to find out if the papers were still there. They were.
Four years ago, she was was at a government inaugural parade party, hosted by one of the long-time sponsors of the MIT Forum where she volunteered. A fellow volunteer asked Carol what she was up to. Every other time they had seen each other, they talked about the event they were working on, not their day jobs. As "luck" would have it, this time it was the sponsor’s party, not one of their events, so they started discussing more personal things. Carol decided to share: She told her colleague she was working on bringing a cure for cancer to market and told her story.
Her colleague said, “I have someone you should meet.” She was the President of Women in Bio and knew all the right people in the local biotech community.
She set up an introduction to someone who was currently a pediatric oncologist and who had formerly worked at the FDA, a pharmaceutical company, and was now consulting to specialty pharmas (just the kinds of companies Carol needed if she took her protocal to market). This pediatric oncologist was practically an entire team wrapped up in one person. This oncologist has been guiding Carol through all the right steps to gain permission from the FDA to conduct a clinical trial.
Should she succeed in raising funds, her first clinical trial will start next year.
But,the story doesn't end here.
This writer was telling Carol's story a colleague, and he mentioned he had friends who have started a hedge fund for new cancer treatments. This may turn into a funding possibility for Carol's project.
Carol gained first-hand appreciation of how meeting JUST THE RIGHT PEOPLE can make a difference in the results that are generated.
In order to help fund her project, Carol has also been writing a book. The book, unrelated to her cancer project, is about mothers and grandmothers.
She was telling someone at church about her book. Turns out, this person has her own PR firm and a lot of contacts from her days as a press spokesman for a Congressman on the Hill. One of her contacts there, Michael Cottman, has just started his own radio show and called her to see if she had anyone he could interview. She referred Carol.
Carol has now been interviewed by this host about her cancer project on NPR radio. And it gets even better: This same radio host wants to interview Carol about her book because he's doing a special in September on Granparents Day!
Who knows how many lives Carol's project may save? But this possibility can only become a reality by meeting the right people to help a novice like Carol navigate these unchartered waters.