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The Difference of One: Del’s Story

People are driven by their life experiences. For minorities, the history of healthcare is a perfect example. Families just don’t share matters and history of wellness. For some, it only takes one journey to begin an evolution of change. For Dr. Del Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of Acclinate, such is the case.

It wasn’t until years later after being engaged in research that Del realized that his mother’s condition could have been managed better.

For years Del watched as his mother endured the conditions of tuberculosis, a bacterial infection of the lungs that often requires a long series of medication treatments. The repeated regimens of different medications intended to help resolve the condition did not seem to be helping. Despite the efforts, Del’s mother was unable to overcome the disease and eventually passed away. With this loss, numerous questions were posed in Del’s mind. Why didn’t these medications work? Why so many? These questions demanded answers that only research could offer.

It wasn’t until years later after being engaged in research that Del realized that his mother’s condition could have been managed better if a pharmacogenomic evaluation had been conducted. Utility of this genomic gauge could have been used to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment medications in lieu of the trial and error process that seemed to fail. It is uncertain if the evaluation would have changed the outcome, but possibility and potential placed Del on yet another path.

He never knew his biological father, so he began efforts to locate him. He was successful, only to discover that his father had passed away from cancer the year before. Becoming familiar with his paternal family was interesting to say the least. His existence was just as much of a surprise to them as the other information that followed. Del found out that every male on his father’s side of the family had passed away of some form of cancer. Recognizing the possible genetic connection placed him at a heightened level of concern. Del is father to three sons of his own. With this connecting focus, his path of discovery continued.

Understanding genetics and genomics was the obvious key to improving the knowledge base of what we know about health history and medical treatments. Currently there is not enough consideration of genetic individuality when it comes to medication regimens. One drug does not fit all in these cases. Discovery is the path to making a difference. For Dr. Del Smith, being ONE person driven to make a DIFFERENCE, has created the possibility of great change where we all are NOWINCLUDED.

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