Six years ago, Phillip Stutts was diagnosed with Achalasia, a rare and degenerative autoimmune disease that disables the esophagus, eventually making eating impossible.
For years, he took doctors at their word when they said the disease was incurable, that it could be slowed, perhaps, but not stopped. He took prescription medicines as recommended despite knowing that they have been linked to dementia as a side effect.
He was, as he writes in Fire Them Now, a “bystander to his own disease,” paralyzed by fear. That is, until he was told that a feeding tube was an inevitability that he should plan for. Life, as he knew it was on the line and Stutts, would be passive no longer.
Today, he is confident that “we will find a cure. I am going to cure my incurable disease.”
As a product of relentless online networking, Stutts was introduced to an Achalasia researcher at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and he is now poised to become a “clinical trial of one.” The treatment will involve injection of stem cells into the esophagus in hopes that the treatment will regenerate muscles and nerves.
For Stutts, a business and political marketer who lives in South Walton County, Achalasia is to him as change is to many CEOs around the country.
Article by Steve Bornhoft