Elaine volunteered for a clinical trial because she wanted to help out. She quickly found that she got at least as much out of the experience as she gave. 

Elaine, who lives in Florida, was drawn to participate in her first clinical trial after reading a post on social media. The study focused on a vaccine for Clostridium difficile (also known as C. diff). C. diff is a bacterium (germ) that can cause inflammation of the colon and can sometimes lead to death.

“When I heard there was a vaccine they were testing for C. diff, I was really interested. I thought this could be important for me because I don’t want to get it, or give it to someone else,” she says. “I wanted a chance to be protected.”


The study involved weekly appointments for two weeks. Elaine viewed the experience as an adventure. “I tried to make a day of it,” says Elaine. “I met a lot of interesting people.”

Elaine also applauds the on-site support she received. “[The staff] was very upfront with me about everything. I felt really confident participating.”

When the study ended, Elaine said she was sad to say goodbye. The experience also opened her eyes to the importance of clinical trials. She’s since researched several other clinical trials and signed up to participate in three of them. “At 65, I feel like I’m at a point where I can do things that really help other people, and that’s important to me,” she says.

Now, Elaine does whatever she can to encourage others to learn more about participating in a clinical trial. In order to advance science and find treatments for different diseases, she believes that everyone has a part to play.

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