Personalized Medicine puts young man on the road to recovery
For business owners, plan administrators, and sponsors
“Personalized Medicine literally saved my son’s life and brought him back to us.”
Until last year, Manulife employee Lynn Oliver had only heard of the difference Personalized Medicine has made for so many of our group benefits customers. She didn't truly appreciate the good that can come from this course of care until her family was on the brink of tragedy.
“Personalized Medicine literally saved my son’s life and brought him back to us,” she shares.
Lynn’s son, Ben, 29, has suffered with mental illness, and battled learning disability and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), for years. He’d been on several drug combinations to help him manage, but over the past two years, his medications weren’t helping him anymore. As his mom puts it, the life had drained from him; he wasn’t Ben anymore.
Knowing the situation was critical, Lynn, her husband, Peter, and their youngest son, Tim, were desperate to save Ben – from his illness and himself. That’s when they looked into Personalized Medicine.
What is Personalized Medicine?
Sponsors can add Personalized Medicine to their Manulife group benefits plans. Members who use the service receive a genetic-test kit in the mail. They collect a small saliva sample; complete a personal questionnaire; and send both back to one of our partner pharmacists.
The pharmacist generates a report that shows which drugs are likely to help the member, and which are likely to be ineffective or cause side effects1.
Lynn initiated the process for her son, and within one week, they had a ‘mind-blowing’ report in hand.
“Ben's results showed that every medication he was on was wrong for him – and the report included the reasons why," she shares. "Only two medications were recommended – again, with the reasons why. The ground the report covered was remarkable.”
With the report in hand, the Olivers locked arms with their family doctor to help Ben wean himself off the ineffective medications so he could start fresh with the two new, recommended drugs.
After a week of taking the new drugs, the twinkle returned to Ben’s eye. Before long, he was doing everything he enjoyed again, which includes practicing the culinary arts as a full-time chef of French cuisine at a renowned restaurant in Stratford, ON.
“Brighter days ahead”
“I was in a dark tunnel; I felt like I couldn’t get out,” Ben shares. “Not only were my previous medications wrong for me; they were also expensive – and that added a lot of financial stress to my plate. Personalized Medicine and my report have made all the difference.”
Ben brings his report to all of his medical appointments, calling the information the ‘keys to me.’ His advice to others facing a struggle similar to his own: “Even if you’re going through hell, don’t stop because there will be brighter days ahead.”
Lynn adds, “I can’t say enough about Personalized Medicine. We take every opportunity to share our experience hoping that we can help someone else.”
Help your members and your organization
Ben's story shows the impact Personalized Medicine can have on members' lives. Read more about how Personalized Medicine works.
Reach out to your Manulife representative learn more about Personalized Medicine and add it to your plan.
The testimonials mentioned in the article are provided by Manulife Employee and their family member.
The opinions expressed in this post are those of Lynn Oliver and Ben Oliver and do not necessarily represent the views of Manulife.
1 The report results are only seen by the member, the Canadian company that runs the test (Personalized Prescribing Inc.), and anyone the member gives consent to share the results with - such as their doctor.