Being Patient Editor in Chief Deborah Kan reflects on 2023, and looks ahead to a big new year.
This year has been a transformational one. But sometimes, it’s hard to notice change and growth in real time. This week, I’m making some time to reflect on what my mom would have thought of what we’re building here, if she were cognizant of Being Patient.
I remember telling her six years ago that I was starting a platform so that we could understand more about her Alzheimer’s diagnosis. After we launched, I showed her the website and she looked at me incredulously and asked “This is all about me?”
Unfortunately today, in a later stage of Alzheimer’s, she has no idea how much we’ve grown — or how big of an impact we’ve made.
After quitting my job at the Wall Street Journal, I launched Being Patient on a tight budget, funding it with my savings account and by doing a six-month project for Bloomberg and pouring every dime of what I made to seed the initial launch. I knew that anyone who signed on wasn’t doing it for the big bucks but believed me when I said patients and caregivers need a platform, a source of truth about scientific research, a place to get expert advice and put patient and caregiver insights in the center of conversation around the search for a cure and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of my team, in 2023:
- We reached readers in more than 200 countries and territories around the world;
- We received over 8 million page views on our content;
- We hosted 46 experts, patients and caregivers in our Live Talks series
- We blew past 1 million views on our YouTube channel;
- Our community of subscribers and followers on our newsletter and social channels broke 100,000;
- We’ve launched a new series of DEEP DIVES pages on hot topics for our readers, like dementia misdiagnosis, and MCI. (FTD and vascular will be coming Q1 2024!);
- We launched an interactive learning platform of guides on topics like dementia prevention, Alzheimer’s and genetics and the science and pathology of Alzheimer’s disease;
- We engaged thousands of patients and caregivers in our surveys, on important topics like diagnosis and trial participation, helping bridge the gap between the world of doctors, scientists and drug developers, and the families living this experience every day.
Founders have visions, but it’s the people who believe in your vision that make it possible to grow from an idea into a reality. It’s been a busy year, but you’ve all provided me with the reassurance that we are on the right track. Watch this space in 2024: We have a lot of more work to do!
Dementia is never an easy journey, but as difficult as my mom’s diagnosis has been, I take comfort in how all I’ve learned has enabled a good thing to happen: Being Patient — and this community — keeps growing.