Patient Perspective: How A Clinical Trial Changed Cassandra’s Life

Have you ever wondered what drives patients to take part in research or what their journey might have been like? In today’s guest post Cassandra shares her inspiring story of participation and the profound effect it has had on her life.

You can find out more about her story, and connect with her on social media by follow these links:

Cassandra’s Story

In March 2013 I came across a clinical trial listing for a diabetes prevention study held on campus at a local university.  I went after work one day to complete the initial assessment.  My weight and initial bloodwork qualified me for the full study where I received a two year subscription to a popular weight loss program.  They scheduled me for my first meeting with the program the next week and gave me a $10 gift card for my time that day.

I proceeded to attend the weight loss program’s meeting weekly and regularly lost weight.  At each quarterly study check-in they re-ran the bloodwork. The same research assistant worked with me for the first few check-ins so she got to witness my progress and seemed genuinely amazed by what I’d accomplished.  I was given a $10 gift card at each check-in.

The long and winding road to wellness: Cassie's Journey

In the fall of 2014 they had a few of the participants meet in a focus group to discuss the study.  We were all at various stages but I was the only one in my group of women that had continued success with the weight loss program.  We discussed the pros and cons of our experiences, what we’d like to see if we ran a similar study, as well as proposed an idea for a community outreach project that could be a spin-off of this study.  We all received a $10 gift card for participating in the focus group.

This was the longest study I have ever participated in but it’s one that has had the biggest effect on my life.  Not only did I reach my goal weight in January but I totally changed my mindset on healthy eating and exercise.  I went from the girl who hated gym class throughout her school years to the woman who feels sometimes feels awkward when she misses a workout.  I used to be the meat and potatoes kid, believing most vegetables were poison.  Now I’m the woman exploring her palate with new (to me) vegetables and a variety of ways to prepare them.  (Just this weekend my fridge was overflowing with fresh vegetables from the farmer’s market and my garden, leaving little room for groceries!)

cassie_2I knew my whole life that my purpose was to help others but never knew how.  This study’s ripple effects let me to discover that it’s my passion, my purpose in life to help others on their journeys to improve their overall health and wellness.  I’m working to switch my career field from office work to wellness coaching full time.

Thank you, Cassandra, for your sharing your story which is sure to inspire hope in others. You are a true inspiration. 

If you have a story to share with our readers about participating in a clinical trial, overcoming adversity or living with a chronic condition, please let us know. We’d love to have you guest blog for us. Guest blogging helps others outside of your disease area learn about your struggles and discover your passions. We will help promote your website and social media accounts, as well as your favorite advocacy group. Click here to get started sharing your story now!


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