Undeniable Hope

On November 27th, 2015, a number on a piece of paper changed my life forever. The massive increase I saw in my LDL cholesterol after adopting a low carb diet would ultimately send me into an entirely different life path, one I’d chronicle in real time on this blog. Now, eight and a half years later, I find myself completely entrenched spearheading research to unravel this mystery and whether it will demonstrate risk for folks like me.

But I have a confession… I’ve had many low points throughout this journey. Obstacles large and small have emerged to slow me down or even outright stop this research.

However, I’ve also seen just how far folks will go to support this effort. Beyond letters and DMs, many have contributed directly to our charity, the Citizen Science Foundation, or have networked us with the right researchers and personnel

Yet nothing compares to what just happened. We decided to take a chance and hold a charity event – the Collaborative Science Conference – or as we call it, “CoSci”. It was over March 15 and 16th and… well… it was amazing. People from all over the world came to donate, with that donation being their ticket to the event.

We had a mix of both featured speakers that were very popular, and citizen science speakers, many of which had never spoken at any conference before this one. And in spite of how short notice we were in announcing it just two and a half months ago, we had over 300 people come and join us.

The part I can’t express in words is how much our event had heart. It felt as though the “spirit of citizen science” was truly in the air. An optimism for what could be possible and how attendees were helping to make it real, just like the rest of us.

Given both the staggering generosity in donations and the considerably positive feedback, we will likely hold another CoSci next year as well. But more importantly, I’m thankful for the level of optimism this inspires for me. We’re proving this model of crowdfunded, self-directed science is quite real and can be well supported with events like these.

For everyone who donated and came to enjoy our event – thank you. You aren’t just helping us fund the next study, you’re reinforcing the drive for us to keep pressing forward.

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