About the Author Victoria Jackson:
When her daughter was diagnosed with the rare autoimmune disease, neuromyelitis optica, (NMO), innovative cosmetics entrepreneur Victoria Jackson dramatically shifted her focus, talents and financial resources “from mascara to medicine.” In the course of creating, funding and leading a research foundation with her husband, Ms. Jackson has shaped a paradigm-breaking approach to medical research. In addition to connecting 175 innovative problem solvers from 28 countries and even more diverse fields of expertise in an unprecedented model of collaboration, the Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation has created a global community of patients, advocates, and healthcare stakeholders, with significant positive impact on the treatment of autoimmune and related diseases. Underscoring the transformative significance of Jackson’s work, in 2016 Victoria and her daughter, Ali Guthy, were invited to speak at the Vatican’s 3rd Annual Regenerative Medicine Conference and to join global leaders likewise devoted to improving and saving lives. Recipient of multiple awards, Ms. Jackson has been described as a passionate advocate for women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship and her iconic beauty line, Victoria Jackson Cosmetics, is still going strong. A successful author and speaker, Ms. Jackson and her daughter, Ali, co-authored Saving Each Other: A Mother-Daughter Love Story(2012).
The Power of Rare
This is the story of how Victoria Jackson, driven by a mother’s love, set out to find a cure for her daughter’s rare, life-threatening autoimmune disease.
Within days of hearing Ali’s diagnosis of neuromyelitis optica, (NMO) in 2008, Victoria began the Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation to fund medical research into this often misdiagnosed orphan disease. Her “blueprint” called for breaking down the so-called silos of traditional medical research and bringing together some of the greatest minds to collaborate and share their findings. She hadn’t expected to galvanize how medical research works, but within only a few years, that’s just what she did. By focusing on the “rare” in each of us, the foundation has catalyzed breakthroughs in NMO in record time. These advances are also opening new doors to solving MS, lupus, and other autoimmune diseases—plus diseases that are not so rare, including cancer, infection, aging, and more.
It has been Victoria’s guiding philosophy that if she can do it, anyone can. With The Power of Rare, she shares how the foundation harnessed the power of rare to speed discoveries that help patients. Through her business savvy, wit, and heart, she offers real-world advice and inspiration for others to tap into “rare” to empower their own breakthroughs.
Panel Moderated by : Betty Bayer, Ph.D., Chair Women’s Studies, Hobart & William Smith Colleges
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