Every parent’s greatest fear is the loss of a child. And Benjie Fido, father of son Antonio, who was born 25-weeks premature, lives with that fear every hour of every day. Fortunately, Antonio is now 13 years old but still has ongoing medical issues. His fears are heightened, however, with COVID-19.

Antonio has only one lung and lives with a tracheotomy, so something as simple as a common cold could rapidly escalate into a life-threatening condition. When you add the fear of exposure to the coronavirus into the mix, that anxiety increases exponentially. Every time Benjie goes out to run errands or takes Antonio to one of his many medical appointments, he knows he is potentially introducing a great risk to his beloved son. While the rest of us simply don a mask, Benjie wrestles with how to cover Antonio’s tracheotomy as well…and that isn’t easy.

Benjie is the father of a patient with several medical conditions who holds onto hope for a healthier future.

For Benjie, it’s frustrating to think that our government is considering price setting policies that could threaten the quality of his son’s life in the future by slowing the development of breakthrough medicines. While America leads the world in biopharmaceutical innovation today, Benjie is worried that could end or be severely hindered if the prices of medications are set by the government. 

He recognizes that if Antonio had not been born in the United States, he likely would not have survived. Benjie is also fully aware that the lifesaving, innovative medicines Antonio received at birth enabled him to get through the difficult early days and months of his life. 

While Benjie’s story is unique, its one we hear countless times that underscore why we need a research and scientific environment that encourages collaboration and provides hope in fighting some of our most difficult to treat illnesses.

It’s clear that Benjie is incredibly appreciative of the innovation that saved his son’s life and how new discoveries offer hope for the future. Let’s stand with him to protect it.


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