Patient seeks to give back by participating in clinical trials to advance research

Mark Lewis is an advocate for participating in clinical trials. As a person who is immunocompromised and has been a Mayo Clinic patient for decades, he hopes to inspire others to join clinical trials for "the greater good."

Lewis has lived with Crohn's disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) marked by inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract, since he was in high school in the mid-1970s. He's struggled with debilitating symptoms. Now, he's come a long way, learning to manage his symptoms and lead a healthier life. He says research and education were a big part of his journey.

Along the way, Mayo Clinic physician and researcher Francis Farraye, M.D., a gastroenterologist specializing in IBD, asked Lewis if he was interested in joining a clinical trial focused on Crohn's disease. Lewis was all in. Now he encourages people to be part of research that advances medicine into the future.

Here's his story.

More information

Learn more about the clinical trial journey, including the phases of clinical trials and how trials bridge the gap between laboratory research and patient care. Also, learn what happens before clinical trials begin, starting with scientific discovery in the lab that evolves into an experimental treatment ready to be tested in human research participants.

—Lynda de Widt