The annual Meet The Scientists fundraising dinner inspired attendees through science education and humor. With presentations from Scientific Advisory Board member, Dr. Peter Nigrovic, and Cure Arthritis Ambassador, Nicole Dalton, attendees left the event feeling hopeful and moved to make a difference.
Dr. Peter Nigrovic of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, former Arthritis National Research Foundation grantee and current Scientific Advisory Board member, delivered an educational presentation illustrating how the investment made by the Arthritis National Research Foundation and our donors leads to the development of research, labs, growth in the field and ultimately treatments.
“Without the funding from the Arthritis National Research Foundation at this pivotal point in my career my research might not have continued, or at least it would have been delayed by many years. The support of the foundation allowed me the freedom to get the Nigrovic Lab started and grow it to include many future foundation scholars.”
The presentation by Dr. Nigrovic demonstrated that the initial investment in newer scientists with cutting-edge ideas pays dividends throughout the career of the investigator far beyond the initial research project. The foundation truly supports the advancement of arthritis research by providing the seed funding for the next generation of arthritis research scientists.
Nicole Dalton, Cure Arthritis Ambassador, comedienne and arthritis patient spoke next. Nicole delivered her amazing, yet shocking, stand-up comedy set followed by a presentation of her personal story.
“When I perform my set, my intention and hope is that the audience witnesses the hidden insanity of this chronic illness and leave with more empathy and a better understanding of this chronic life. These diseases have a whisper of an advocacy voice out in public. I mean the REAL, hardcore things we go through. I want my advocacy through stand-up comedy to ROAR.”
And roar she did. Nicole’s set, while unconventional, displayed the strength it takes for a patient to laugh about the difficulties they face. Nicole created a space where it was okay to laugh with her at the absurdity of her treatment she faces everyday. She made it uncomfortable, funny and moving all at the same time.
To cap off her presentation, Nicole gave a powerful overview of her struggles, her triumphs and the need to come together to find a cure.
“We share our stories not for ourselves, although there is a catharsis in having one’s story heard and witnessed, but so others, especially those whose bodies and disease are silent and scary, not only to the patient but to society at large, can truly be seen, felt, and fellow patients have a moment of, ‘Me too!’
“To me, doing stand-up and the laughter that, hopefully, naturally follows is an invitation. It’s an invitation to take off what I call the ‘PC woman with a disease mask’ and get undeniably fierce and real about living with a disease with no cure.”
To say the night was moving is an understatement. To see in person the effect of the research and the reason we need more is motivating, encouraging and hopeful. Each year, we seek to improve and the 2018 Meet The Scientists will be no exception. We invite you to join us next year to be a part of this amazing evening.