We celebrate the life of Jerry Mayfield. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Karen and the family. If you would like to leave notes and condolences, you may do so at the bottom of the page. We will ensure that they are delivered to Jerry's family. We hope you enjoy this past column on this remarkable man.
- Greg Stephens and everyone at the National CML Society
If you've had your ear to the ground regarding CML for any time at all, Jerry Mayfield is probably already on your list of "go-to" people. No, he's not a doctor, nor does he work in the medical field. He's just a guy living with CML and doing all he can to help others as they navigate their own unique journey.
Jerry was diagnosed with CML on March 25, 1999, well before today's "wonder drugs" were on the treatment radar.
His initial treatment consisted of a chemotherapy combo of Interferon, Ara-C, and HHT. After a year of this combination, he had yet to achieve and maintain a Cytogenetic response. In August of 2000, he began therapy with a revolutionary new drug for CML that was in clinical trial. Unfortunately, he was never able to achieve a substantial response and his CML became resistant to the drug.
In October of 2003, a trial nurse at M.D. Anderson in Houston approached Jerry about his participation in a Phase 1 trial for a second generation drug. It was during that time that Jerry started what has become one of the best known online CML resources today. That resource, a website called New CML Drug (www.newcmldrug.com) was his way of documenting his journey and daily life during the trial. He brought a human face to something that had, in the past, been quite secretive and obscure.
In July of 2004, Forbes Magazine featured Jerry and his site and dubbed him the "Impatient Patient". The articled shared how Jerry's online diary had accomplished something virtually unheard-of in the secretive world of clinical trials.
Over the course of his CML journey, Jerry has worked diligently to ensure that others have the information they need to get the best treatments and to live full productive lives.
If you're wondering where Jerry learned to wrangle the rogue happenings of life - well, his other career was as a Louisiana State Trooper.