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Research Stories

We’ve talked to researchers, health care workers and people like you to find out more about how research works in our province and why it’s so important for Albertans. Watch some of their stories below or sign up for our newsletter to learn more about how you can help shape Alberta’s medical future.

Have a story to share? We’re always looking for powerful stories about people’s real experiences with health research. If you have a story, we’d love to share it. Email us directly at [email protected].

Laura Saunders

“As a parent of two very young children… my voice matters.”

Laura was invited to participate in a study to improve communication between physicians, pediatric patients, and the patients’ families. At that time she realized how important her input is in guiding the health care for her children and herself. She believes that a sustainable, effective health care system doesn’t exist without patient involvement.

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Shanine Lafreniere

“The value of clinical research is in front of us every day. It’s up to us to really appreciate it.”

Shanine’s daughter was diagnosed with biliary atresia as a newborn and needed a liver transplant at 9 months old. After a successful transplant, Shanine says “You see that the clinical advances and the help that your child received wouldn’t have been possible without these kinds of studies and research being done, and you want to give back.”

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Susan Letendre

“Research absolutely saves lives.”

Susan’s father contracted a deadly C. difficile infection after taking antibiotics to fight a post-surgical infection. He lost over 30 pounds as a result and was unable to leave his home until undergoing a newly researched fecal transplant procedure. The procedure was a success, and he was able to eat and visit with his grandchildren once again. Susan believes in research because “it could be your loved one that needs one of these lifesaving procedures.”

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Thomas Peacocke

“The kind of care we have is the result of having a society that cared enough.”

When Thomas was diagnosed with a heart condition, his doctor recommended a new procedure to replace a heart valve. Thomas was hesitant because of his age, but the non-invasive nature of the study treatment made him an ideal candidate. He was admitted into the hospital one day, went home just two days later, and now feels better than ever. Thomas believes in research because “it could affect you, but also your kids, your friends, society, mankind.”

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Maia Stock

“It definitely improved my quality of life quite a bit because I was stuck in bed, and now I can actually have a life.”

Maia Stock was 14 when she developed POTS. She went from having a life full of activities to being bedridden all day, every day. Since then she has participated in a number of clinical trials which has helped advance both the understanding of POTS and the quality of care for patients with POTS.

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Kerry Elliott

“So I would say to anyone on the fence about this: go and meet with the team. Talk to them. Find out more about it.”

Kerry Elliott has been a Type 1 diabetic since he was 15 years old. He participated in a clinical study with Dr. James Shapiro for a potentially life-changing diabetes treatment involving insulin-producing stem cells. Kerry is passionate about research, knowing he gets to play a role in helping find better treatments for diabetics.

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Jillian Karst

“Because everything you do in the drug trial is helping the next person, and that’s huge!”

Jillian Karst was diagnosed with psoriasis, and through a clinical trial run in Alberta, she is now psoriasis-free! Her mom, Shirley, sees how health research positively impacts not just Jillian, but anyone else with the condition.

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Brad Weskett | Greg Smith

“If we don’t have research, we’re not going to make any advancements”

Brad Weskett and Greg Smith are both patients of Dr. Farnaz Amoozegar at the Calgary Headache Assessment & Management Program (CHAMP) in Alberta. They’ve both participated in clinical trials and explain why health research is so important.

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