End of Year Thanks – 2019

While I know Thanksgiving has passed, I tend to think of the many things to be thankful for near the end of the year. And make no mistake, I have a pretty long list.

Thank you, Members and Patrons

There’s one reason above all others that we’re able to keep the lights on and focus entirely on this research — direct contributions and membership. Both Siobhan and I live with very low overhead, but we can both correctly point out our bills are paid by individuals contributing directly to our work (including a handful of very generous individuals in particular).

Many hit that “Donate” button in the upper right corner of this website to do a one time donation. Donations range from small to large, but all of them matter — a lot, actually.

And many have gone further to sign up to our membership, Patreon accounts (mine, Siobhan’s) for monthly recurring funding. And some have setup a recurring monthly donation in PayPal to help us out.

When I started this research and website four years ago, I intended to never take any compensation from a business entity, have any affiliates, or truly any quid pro quo that could influence my research. YOU have made that possible! You’re all making this true #CrowdSourcedScience.

Thank you, Citizen Science Foundation Contributors

I’m going to level with you, I genuinely had no worldly idea whether the launch of the LMHR (Lean Mass Hyper-responder) Project under the Citizen Science Foundation (CSF) would be a success or a terrible failure. They recommend kickstarters have no more than $50,000 as a goal given just how hard it is to raise that much — and that usually has a product or service that directly benefits backers personally. Many (including myself) were very unsure if this would work for a data collection project, much less one that will take five years to complete.

Your contributions exceeded all my expectations. Truly.

While it’s true I’m hoping to get to the magic number of 100 LMHRs, and at around 2k/LMHR for testing, I’m blown away that we’re already 1/3rd of the way there ($66k as of this writing) in less than two months.

(If you want to learn more about our next steps, be sure to check out our roadmap at the CSF website.)

Speaking of which — Thanks to Spencer Nadolsky

Nothing has surprised me more than the lack of interest in doing a follow up study on LMHRs, given what a truly unique profile they present as a group. To date, Spencer is the only exception I know of. He wants to study them and understand if indeed we’ll see the same progression of atherosclerosis we observe in genetic familial hypercholesterolemia given they are the only population with comparable levels of LDL.

Spencer is hypothesizing the opposite outcomes than I am regarding the project – but that’s a feature, not a bug. As always, I value both contrarian views and transparency highly. It’s easier to achieve when each major side of a divide has excellent representation on the team moving forward.

And of course, Thanks to Tommy Wood

Tommy and I have actually be collaborating for a while. He and his team have helped me get NHANES in hand for my analysis. And we’re working on the Lipid Energy Model paper (albeit a bit slower than originally intended).

But in particular, his coming onboard the LMHR Measurement Project is a real game changer for us. He’ll be helping us take the project to the next level as you’ll see in the coming months.

Most of All, Thanks to The Mrs.

My wife has been unbelievably accommodating and supportive of this research. A little over a year ago she started an ambitious points and miles project that had us constantly switching in and out credit cards and doing our purchases during targeted time periods, hitting multiples to maximize values, and joining (and also canceling) a number of different programs to get the best deals.

All these efforts paid off as she has accomplished setting up an around-the-world series of trips to help with the documentary I’m filming in 2020. The vast majority of this trip is on the points and miles, the remainder is on her dime as a contribution to this research endeavor. I can’t possibly thank her enough in person, much less a blog post. But I suppose I’ll have plenty of time ahead to keep trying. 🙂

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