This week Lisa and Jon are back in the office after a valuable trip to the UK. They met with the UK’s leading scientists and clinicians in PSC treatment and research, including Dr. Roger Chapman, Dr. Gideon Hirschfield, and Dr. Simon Rushbrook, to talk about international efforts to cure PSC. Jon also underwent a cutting edge experimental liver scan at Perspectum Diagnostics in Oxford to understand the extent and activity of his disease. However, none of this would have been possible if it was not for the help and understanding of the staff at Virgin Atlantic.
At the start of their trip, Lisa and Jon were due to meet at Washington DC’s Dulles Airport to fly together to London Heathrow, but encountered an all too common air-traveler’s nightmare – inclement weather. Lisa was caught up in hours of delays as she tried to leave Pittsburgh International for Dulles. She shared the frustration of her fellow passengers as one flight was cancelled, the next flight was delayed, then the plane everyone finally boarded was further delayed as it waited for a de-icing. Though she had left plenty of time between her connecting flights, Lisa was suddenly left racing against the clock to make it on the flight leaving Dulles. Similar to our plight against PSC, a problem that one cannot control for had arisen and called for an urgent solution. Enter the ladies and gentlemen of the DC Virgin Atlantic staff.
After hearing about SAVE JON, the important meetings planned and Jon’s schedule to undergo a special scan, the Virgin Atlantic staff held their flight to London fifteen minutes so that Lisa could make it through the gate. We understand that this travel hiccup happens to so many people everyday, and the world would be in chaos if planes were held for everyone delayed in transit. That’s why we realize this was such a grand gesture by Virgin Atlantic, and we would like to send them a massive thank-you for helping Jon get to his scan.
Jon, who is actually an airplane fanatic and works at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, as well as our CEO Lisa, who lives and breathes innovation, were both delighted to get aboard Virgin Atlantic’s new 4-month-old Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which made for a great flight. Not only was the flight smooth and comfortable, it was also more environmentally friendly than other flights, thanks to the increased fuel-efficiency of the 787. It is so fitting that our champions from SAVE JON found themselves flying through the air in a new way, as they embarked on a leg of their journey to find a new way for solving PSC. This wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the Virgin Atlantic gate staff understanding our cause and taking an interest in Jon’s personal story. So, Sir Richard Branson, kudos to you for hiring such great staff, as well as leading them as supporters of innovation and good causes.
Check back later this month for more information about the results of Jon’s super advanced liver scan…