In an earlier post, I covered the plight of Amanda Twellman-Dieppa, who has Hodgkin’s Disease and worse, has relapsed and does not have a favorable prognosis. Unfortunately, the emotion of Amanda’s condition led to a confrontation with Medarex, who is developing a drug which may help Amanda’s condition. Unfortunately, the Twellman-Dieppa family chose the wrong method, but Mr. Drakeman, President of Medarex, stepped up to the plate in a big way.
SaveAmanda.com has an update, confirming that “a resolution has been reached, which meets the needs of the family and the goals of Medarex”. Details, as you might expect when an exception to all the normal rules is made, are being kept private, but considering the immense risk that Medarex is accepting in this case, the company’s actions are nothing short of heroic. The company was falsely accused of being uncaring and greedy, was hounded by a biased national radio host*, and faced a growing wave of unfair accusations through the Internet rumor mill; very few voices presented Medarex’s perspective, or tried to balance the known information. Despite the public pressure from both sides, the huge risk of allowing its competitors to see the results of MDX-60, and the embarrassment of hundreds of false rumors directed against them, Mr. Drakeman and the directors of Medarex stayed on mission to find a way to help Amanda. There is no way to know for sure whether MDX-60 will work, and even if it’s completely successful, it means years of recovery at best. Since my own mom had breast cancer, I understand that ‘success’ means remission, which is just another word for waiting for the possibility the cancer could still come back.
I am very thankful that Amanda will get the drug she believes is her best hope. I appreciate the determination her father showed in making sure he did everything he could. And most of all, the courage and idealist spirit showed by the directors at Medarex, though it will be ignored by most, is worthy of great praise on the record.
(* The radio host, it should be mentioned, grudgingly admitted that Medarex and it's President, Mr. Drakeman, have been invaluable in helping Amanda.)