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How One Family Made a Difference through ResearchMatch

Megan Reynolds considers herself fortunate. She is the mother of two healthy boys. As an employee of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, though, Megan has met many other families who aren’t as lucky. She also knows that the hospital is filled with researchers working to develop new treatments for conditions and diseases in children.

By participating in ResearchMatch, Megan and her sons are helping both sides. ResearchMatch is a free, secure national registry that matches researchers with volunteers who are interested in participating in studies.

“I signed up for ResearchMatch because I recognize the importance of the research that is done here. Through my work at Nationwide Children’s, I have a seen the number of lives that a study can impact, or even save.”

Anyone from the United States – adult or child – can join ResearchMatch. And if you’re a match for a study, you get to decide if you want to be contacted. Patients and families can also use ResearchMatch to find the latest research on a specific condition or disease.

For a lot of studies, researchers enroll patients who have a specific condition or disease. But to understand how a disease affects normal health and development, researchers also need to enroll healthy children or adults (called controls). Healthy controls allow researchers to compare how patients with a disease are different from children or adults who don’t have that disease.

Both of Megan’s sons participated as healthy controls in studies. “As for my kids, well, they asked me to sign them up!” says Megan. “They recognized early on in life that not every child is healthy like them, but they also understand that researchers are here to help those children. They want to help kids around the world get healthier.”

Being a part of research brought science to life for Megan’s sons, she says. “Through the various studies, they have seen their brain waves, their bones and their muscles because researchers took the time to show them what they were doing and why.” And when they do need to come to the hospital as patients, Megan says her sons aren’t scared or stressed.

“I have never had a negative interaction on any of the studies that my boys have participated in, but I also think we have an amazing team of researchers here. If you and your kids have not participated in research, I would highly recommend ResearchMatch.”

Want to become a ResearchMatch volunteer like Megan and her family? Signing up online is free and only takes 10 minutes to complete on ResearchMatch.org. Your personal information will never be released to third parties, participating organizations or other research institutions.

Tiasha Letostak, MPH
Tiasha Letostak is a Senior Marketing Strategist in Clinical & Research Communications for Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She lives in Powell with her husband and toddler daughter, and is finishing up her PhD in Public Health. She looks forward to the day when she graduates and regains free time to travel, catch up on her favorite TV shows, and read books for fun.

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