“Don’t give up… don’t ever give up.” These iconic words were the basis of Jim Valvano’s (Jimmy V) speech given on March 3, 1993 at the first ESPY Awards while accepting the inaugural Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award. Twenty years later, the words of this speech were echoed by the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award, GMA anchor Robin Roberts, Wednesday night at the 2013 ESPY Awards.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, what does the ESPY Awards, Jimmy V or Robin Roberts have in common with clinical research? After all, isn’t the ESPY Awards all about sports? Although the ESPYs do recognize athletic achieve and sports-related performance, Wednesday night’s award show was about more than athletic ability.

In her speech, Roberts, a five-year breast cancer survivor, addressed her most recent fight against Myelodyplastic Syndrome (MDS). As she spoke about her experience, she quoted Jimmy V’s speech (who at the time was fighting cancer and had just established the V Foundation for cancer research), “We need your help. We need money for research. It may not save my life, it may save my children’s, it may same someone you love.” As she continued, Roberts was brought to tears, saying that she could have never imaged that 20 years later HER life would be one saved by those who responded to Jimmy V’s challenge. Towards the end of her speech, she urged the audience to make contributions to medical research, “Donate to make more research possible, take part in clinical trials as I have and my sister has.”

In her short, six-minute speech (click here for the full-video), Roberts made the connection. Sometimes, it can be easy to ignore clinical research as something that “does not apply” to everyone. However this research, these trials, are imperative to the progress of medicine and healthcare. And that is what should be conveyed in your patient recruitment strategies. When trying to recruitment potential participants, remind that they are not only helping themselves, they are helping others, too.

Compassion can be a huge motivator; so don’t forget to add this element to your clinical trials marketing strategy. Need help? “Don’t give up!” Simply contact our customer advocate, Mary Lou, at 1-888-299-1202 or at MaryLou@ClinicalListAmerica.com. We’ll get started on your patient recruitment piece today.

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