Tuesday, July 17, 2007

CHANGING THE WORLD - ONE ACT AT A TIME

SAN FRANCISCO - For years Dr. Victoria Hale could see the problem. The world's poorest people — from India to Africa — were dying from curable diseases while big drug companies did little to help.

Then one day she admitted to a cab driver, an African immigrant, that she worked for a big drug company.

"He rolled his head back and laughed and said, 'You all have all the money!'" she recalls.

Hale quit her job, took out a loan and began working on a crazy dream — a nonprofit drug company.

"I wanted to do something that would put the world in a new place, put it on a new path," she says.

Hale began searching for drugs whose patents had expired, or that were sitting on a shelf because there wasn't enough profit in them. And she found one.

She brokered deals and organized a drug trial in India to combat deadly black fever.

"All these patients (in this room), if they don't get treatment, will die within six or eight months," says Dr. C.P. Thakur, India's former Minister of Health.

Including 10-year-old Dilip. But Hale proved an old, neglected drug will inexpensively cure black fever. Dilip walked out 100 percent cured. Her efforts could save 200,000 lives a year.

And then Hale met Dr. Jay Keasling, a Berkeley professor who helped invent a cheap way to synthesize a drug already proven to cure malaria. Their new partnership — his for-profit company Amyris Biotechnologies with her nonprofit Institute for OneWorld Health — could soon help save (we're not making this up) millions of lives.

"Amyris will make no profit, and OneWorld Health will make no profit," says Keasling.

"She had a vision," says Tachi Yamada. "Most people who are visionaries start out with a vision."

Yamada works for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which decided along the way to give OneWorld Health $150 million.

"I actually think she's a real hero," says Yamada.

14 comments:

Demola said...

Everything starts with a dream... she definitely backed it up with a strong belief in her dream...

Good post!


www.notjustok.com

ababoypart2 said...

An inspiring story

mystoriesmytestimonies said...

wow...great post
thank u for ... ' changing the world series'....

Onada said...

Hey babe! i updated the charity blog! i just need to add an entry about how the school supplies wull be distributed. I'm only taking funds from family and friends for now! Thanks for your help!

Jumi said...

A nonprofit drug company? That's a great idea and I'm glad she followed it up with action. Thanks for the info. Happy weekend.

Mr.Fineboy said...

Very inspiring....loving your blog. Thanks for stopping by!

DiAmOnD hawk said...

hey Ms.May... im ok. letme know after you take ur exams k?

Vickii said...

This is a great story ... I've always wanted to help people in some way and so far I feel I haven't done that and stories like this are very inspiring ... hopefully, my opportunity will come along and I'll grab it with both hands!

Oh in regards to the comment you left on my blog about running ... check out London Buki's 'I will be fit' blog, she has a link on her sidebar to a 6 week training plan to help people begin running. That's what I used when I started running about 9 months and honestly, I couldn't run at all when I started but it's really good and got me going!

Onada said...

People like this inspire me to do more!

omohemi Benson said...

When I read and hear stories like this,I say to myself Omohemi, what are you doing? and also say you can do it!

Thanks for sharing this inspiring story.

SapphireAster said...

Inspiring story!
hope the GMAT studying is going well

egbaman said...

If only we could all expand our sphere of influence like she is doing. I guess must of us are engulf with our problems or at best comfortable with our present situation that we think less about sacrifice we can make to help others. People like her makes one to believe that there is more to ones life that just “ones self”.

Nyemoni said...

This is too sweet for words... How inspiring... let me go look for the one act I can do to make a positive change..

Uzo said...

Alright dear...you need to update