Laurie was searching for hope. John was seeking new experiences. Alison wanted to help end the pandemic.
The motivation of a clinical trial participant is as unique as the person, themselves. By participating in a Pfizer clinical trial, Laurie, John, and Alison
each walked away with a sense of satisfaction, and a feeling that they helped advance science.
Helping themselves — and others
Six years ago, Laurie was told by her doctor in Alberta, Canada, that she’d exhausted her treatment options for her metastatic breast cancer. So, her daughter started researching clinical trials, and found a Pfizer trial in Portland, Oregon that was a fit. Before the trial began, Laurie was preparing for the worst. “My outlook was pretty grim,” she says. Now, six years later, at age 62, Laurie continues to be involved in the trial, and is living her life in a more fulfilling way than she could have imagined. “There is a lot of hope,” she says. “I consider myself lucky.”
John knew several people who had participated in clinical trials, and he was curious about the experience. He decided to look into a Phase 1 Pfizer clinical trial, which would test the safety of a study drug over a matter of weeks, and joined after going through the screening process. During the trial, he lived in Pfizer’s research facility in New Haven, Connecticut, with the other participants. In his downtime, he made friends in the multimedia and relaxation rooms.
John, who is 56, enjoyed his experience so much that he’s since joined 10 other Pfizer clinical trials, as well as trials sponsored by other companies. In the process, he’s learned a great deal about health, and takes better care of himself. “I’m more conscious of what I have to do to keep myself healthy and to try to avoid getting some of the illnesses that are brought on by the way you live,” he says.
Last year, as the world waited anxiously for development of a Covid-19 vaccine, Alison decided she wanted to help. An online search led her to a Pfizer vaccine clinical trial near her home in the Los Angeles area. “I felt it was really important we lead with science as we tried to fight this pandemic. And science can’t happen without people who are willing to take part in trials,” says Alison.
During the trial, Alison, who is 37, received two shots about three weeks apart. In February, she learned that she was among the group of people in the trial who received the placebo. She accepted an option to receive the study vaccine and continue being monitored as a participant in the clinical trial. Today, as she watches the news and hears the vaccination stories, she knows she played an important role. “Millions of Americans at this point have been vaccinated, and that was because a small number of people said they were willing to do the trial,” says Alison.
For clinical trial participants, the reason is always personal. For many, those reasons evolve even as the trial goes on. In the end, the trial participants interviewed for this story all felt a sense of accomplishment, knowing that they’d helped advance science, while also achieving some of their own goals along the way.
When Alison reflects on her experience, she feels thankful that she was able to be a part of research at a critical time. “There have to be people who are excited and interested and willing to get involved for the science to happen,” says Alison.
To learn more about joining a clinical trial, please visit www.pfizerclinicaltrials.com/learnmore. Together, breakthroughs are possible.