The Beginning of the Eric Drew Foundation
The urgent need for independent patient advocacy was first realized by Eric Drew during his initial inpatient leukemia treatment at Stanford Medical Center in early December 2002. He had just been diagnosed a few days earlier with one of the most aggressive cancers known to man, ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia basically a cancer of the immune system). He was given less than a week to live without immediate and extremely invasive chemotherapy treatments that in themselves could be fatal.
There was no time to evaluate the options or get second opinions from different hospitals. His life was hanging by a thread, and he was totally dependent and completely at the mercy of people he had never met, and on a system he had no knowledge of. He had a million unanswered questions, but the and the hospital staff were usually so busy with triage trying to keep patients alive and coordinate the hundreds of medications they disperse per hour, that they referred most questions to the doctors who were even busier than the staff.