Thriving Against Expectations: Ben Heywood’s Moving TEDx Cambridge Talk

Posted February 1st, 2012 by

Last November, we shared our takeaways from TEDx Cambridge, a one-day event featuring 30+ speakers and lots of Ideas Worth Spreading (TED’s mission).  The theme for this particular gathering was “Thrive.”  How can we as individuals – and communities – not just survive but thrive?

One of the speakers to take a crack at that question was PatientsLikeMe Co-Founder and President Ben Heywood, who talked about the story behind PatientsLikeMe.  In addition to sharing how it all began with his brother Stephen’s diagnosis with ALS, and what PatientsLikeMe is trying to do (“a revolution of openness”), Ben focused on how we can thrive as a company against big expectations – both external and internal.

Tune in to the video below to find out just that.  Congrats to Ben on an inspiring talk – not to mention his standing ovation!


2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the enlightenment about the usage of PLM information. It has given me a great way to watch my meds, and to watch statistics regarding my Fibromyalgia and CFS.

    I have met so many people that have the same conditions and they in turn have helped me cope. In fact several of us have met, talk on the phone, exchange numbers in case someone doesn’t show up for awhile, etc.

    Plus we see what is happening to our friends. PLM is several cities working together. Thank You! Sijai

  2. I am so so happy you started a sight like PatientsLikeMe! Years ago I told my mum “I wish there was a site out there that allowed people to come together to talk about the different medical difficulties they are going through, to find support, but most of all to get answers that may help them before problems go on so long it becomes too late.” You can have the greatest emotional support, you can have the strongest inner strength and faith and courage and belief, but if you don’t have the right answer to what is wrong with you the correct treatment can’t be done and by the time you do find out often enough the original problem has created a domino affect on your body. I know because I have gone through it myself in a way that is the most extreme I’ve actually come across… every day knowing if something like this had existed back when I searched for it, I may have avoided the misdiagnosis, the mistreatment, and the physical and emotional damage that has been done, leaving me now fighting for my life after having a four organ transplant that turned out to be unnecessary. I now have to go through the same one again in hopes that it is done in time, that it goes well 2nd time round, and that I survive it to even find out what lies ahead as it is a 50/50 procedure to begin with. I was never short of creative ideas over the years, never short of the drive to do them and the desire to help people, but I was short on any experience of technology and computers and resources to create something so helpful, as well as the health and energy to get out there and find those resources. I can’t tell you how happy I was and am to have discovered your site and this video warmed my heart to know that someone was making something like this happen. I still have yet to get my own story on… have been working on other ways I can share it and hope more than anything it can help people so all I have gone through has not been for nothing. Thank you for making it about the patients and helping each other, not just someone wanting to do something to make money or their own success. I hope to become more involved as I learn my way around tech stuff…haha… the best thing people can do is come together to help each other!

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