42 Comments
Feb 21, 2022Liked by Gavin Giovannoni

I think the back story makes you much more human and more personal to the reader. So make sure that you include it.👌

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Feb 21, 2022Liked by Gavin Giovannoni

Back story for me, although it's good to read your formal biography. I remember reading somewhere that you had a female MS patient in South Africa who was very upset when she learnt that you were leaving for the UK. She 'made' you promise that you would never stop looking for an MS cure. I found this very moving. This should definitely be in your back story!

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author

Bernard, you have a good memory. That patient was a patient of my Professor's back in South Africa and you she was upset when I told her I was leaving SA to come to the UK to do MS Research. That was close to 30 years ago.

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Feb 21, 2022Liked by Gavin Giovannoni

Is it possible to use both. I appreciate reading both as they tell the whole story. I think some smart editing could provide a successfully merged document.

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I much prefer the 'back story' version. It's written with empathy for people with MS, and most importantly, it is suffused with that one thing I think pwMS crave above all else: hope. Thank you for sharing it with us :)

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Feb 21, 2022Liked by Gavin Giovannoni

Both if possible but if not perhaps a hybrid of the two or if that’s not possible, the back story.

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Feb 21, 2022Liked by Gavin Giovannoni

Your back story is exactly what the name says - your back story to your official biography and helps us see how great doctor you were from your student days, and if I had to choose, as a pwMS I would always choose your back story but your official biography shouldn't be neglected because it is indeed imposing, so in my opinion they really complement each other.

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Just had time to read this. Both. One as important as the other but pivotal moments in our lives, when beautifully relayed, have real resonance and power.

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Feb 23, 2022Liked by Gavin Giovannoni

They're both relevant with different purposes - the first is like an excerpt from your personal biography, the second your career history/expanded resume. Both give valuable insight and are worth including :)

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Feb 22, 2022Liked by Gavin Giovannoni

Both

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Feb 22, 2022Liked by Gavin Giovannoni

I think this back story shows such insight into how we develop through our training and beyond and such caring, it should be shared.

As someone who has struggled with the diagnosis and the uncertainty of life since the MS-Selfie, your previous blog and you are invaluable.

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Feb 22, 2022Liked by Gavin Giovannoni

Definitely, both. Probably not relevant here but all these modern day good treatment stories always upset me - hugely. I have PPMS and live in a country where there are no treatment options offered. So in my situation nothing has changed from your early experience.

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Feb 21, 2022Liked by Gavin Giovannoni

I too have South African origins. Your informative blog and honest answers have steered me to my current status, I am SPMS since around 2019. I have benefited greatly from breakthroughs and research. Beta interferon and early DMT Filgolimod changed my life. But I can no longer wait for research and breakthroughs. I must make my own plans for my old age and future .

Against NHS and NICE advice I am embarking on the path to AHSCT. Without the support of the NHS. Although I am now having to fund my own “cure“ I hope my experience will benefit people with progressive disease and perhaps give them more options to define their own futures.

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Feb 21, 2022Liked by Gavin Giovannoni

Although your official bio is great, it’s always interesting to hear the back story. It adds more of a human factor that I think we can all appreciate. Thanks for sharing. I think anyone with MS now has more to feel hopeful about. My brother who had MS was offered nothing back in the mid-90s.

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Feb 18, 2023Liked by Gavin Giovannoni

Such an interesting story. It's so motivating. Thank you for sharing it with your readers.

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Feb 24, 2022Liked by Gavin Giovannoni

I’m on team both (edited down) or #2 with an edited version of backstory melded in. In this era of mis- and disinformation, I rely on medical/professional/technical credentials to evaluate who will be my credible sources of info. You are a valued member of this group on MS. I relied on your credentials to find you in the first place. Plus your clear commitment to having a pwMS-centric focus. As a mother to a pwMS, I 💛you so much.

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Feb 22, 2022Liked by Gavin Giovannoni

I have to prefer #2, the more sterile version. You are first and foremost an expert, but don’t underemphasize all the applied experience which makes you who you are. That’s not to say I don’t see the tragedy and humility in story #1. It all depends who you are writing to and your purpose. What do we (selfie readers) need to know? Level of expertise, independence, openness to ideas, ability to formulate new ones, leadership, the underpinning of empathy, on and on? Should it lean one way or the other? I always like parts about fighting uphill against self-interest, resignation and misinformation.

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