Ted Slavin was an incredible man who helped save millions of lives with his blood. Back in the 50’s, Ted had received a blood transfusion for his hemophilia that contained blood infected with hepatitis B. Slavin’s doctor found that while Slavin’s blood wouldn’t clot, it held resilience to hepatitis invaders. This discovery would forever shift Slavin’s life and millions of lives after him.
Determined to make a difference in this terrible situation, Slavin reached out to Baruch Blumberg to use his antibodies in order to help develop tests that diagnose hepatitis B, detection of liver cancer connected to hepatitis B, and a preventative vaccine.
What’s really fascinating about Ted Slavin is he sold his blood samples. He took a really crummy situation and was able to turn it around in his favor. Not only was he able to help further research and save lives, but he was also able to find the value in his situation and get some compensation for his contributions. What many don’t realize is that discarded and donated medical samples are often used without our knowledge, so Slavin was able to monetize his own misfortune. While also massively impacting the world.
Now, just to be clear, Slavin did not get rich from his samples. In fact, a majority of the money he made was donated back to scientific research because he was so dedicated to helping others. Slavin was very hopeful for a cure, and he truly believed his antibodies could make a massive change in the health of others.
While there is not a lot of information out there on Ted Slavin, since a majority of hepatitis research recognition was dedicated to Dr. Blumberg, it’s important to share Ted Slavin’s story and how he helped save millions of lives through his own medical struggles. You can’t help but read this story and feel inspired and hopeful for the future of scientific research.
Ted Slavin passed away in 1984 but was remembered and honored by Dr. Blumberg who received a Nobel Prize for his efforts.
Today, we can still appreciate and benefit from the contribution that Ted Slavin made with his antibodies. His ingenuity and passion for others has created a ripple effect on the health of the many generations to come after him.