I worked ridiculously hard yesterday at the ExL Pharma Conference and gave my first public talk. I can tell you I was fired up as Bob Brooks Executive Vice President of WEGO Health called me and my fellow panelist and my new friend from LA Julie Flygare up to the stage. So much so I almost needed my wheelchair I was shaking so bad, little to Bob and Julie’s knowledge I’d been urinating blood all day and was quite disoriented by this point so I was having trouble making it to the stage. Regardless of my own plight I networked continuously managing to hand out EVERY single business card I’d brought which was well over 50.
During the talk my legs were shaking violently partially from pain and partially from being so frightened to give my first public talk I mean Bob has been doing this for 7+ years and Julies 5-6 years herself she’s been so involved with Narcolepsy she must be the #1 advocate! But when it came time to talk and Bob whispered “you’re up Mike” I felt a fire light under my ass. Suddenly I had the power to talk and everyone in the room was focused on me I felt like I could harness their attention and bring them a really passionate talk something these pharmaceutical conferences don’t often see and something that will be remembered forever. Julie is an amazing speaker and was far more adept at answering the questions appropriately since she has dealt with the pharmaceutical industry far more than I have and has been advocating far longer than I have as well which I certainly respect her for. I was honestly just trying to keep up and seem just as talented as the other two great speakers up there with me. Well you can watch the 34 minute video for yourself and comment as to how I did. The ExL Pharmaceutical Conference people were kind enough to allow me to videotape the panel so long as I posted it on YouTube for all to see and I was heartily thanked for all my live tweets by people from Makovsky Integrated Communications, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Allergan, and Golin Harris. I simply could not believe the outcome of my talk.
During the cocktail hour people immediately approached me in my wheelchair and thanked me for the refreshing nature of my talk at such monotonous conferences. I thanked them all and simply replied that I’d be grateful to speak at any pharmaceutical conference that’s willing to give me a chance whether it be on advocating on the hill, talking about one of my 4 conditions, or talking about the patient view of the pharmaceutical industry I’d be happy to do any of these jobs. I don’t necessarily need to be paid either I just need my caregiver and I’s flights and hotel covered and I’ll talk just for the fun of it. Perhaps a free dinner with some business people to give me a shot a another job from home or perhaps as a traveling representative for someone. Everything is negotiable of course I’d rather be paid but my main goal is to spread awareness.