It was the iconic Fred Rogers that told us, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
At Good Good Good, we’ve made that the foundation of our work — to know that even in times of extreme hardship, there are always people looking to do good in the world, people ready to receive the good, and most of us at the intersection of taking action.
This past year has been another “unprecedented” year (ugh), full of overwhelming challenges and large-scale catastrophes. But what keeps us moving forward, what keeps us afloat amidst so many unknowns, is the potential to respond, problem-solve, and care for one another.
2022 ushered in violence and fear — threats to healthcare (the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade), ongoing climate change (climate disasters rocked areas across the globe), political unrest (Russia invaded Ukraine and continues to inflict unrivaled human rights violations) — and so much more.
But in these heartbreaking moments, we cling to hope. We must.
From entertainers using their platforms to help others, and protesters and activists fundraising and speaking out to change the future, to community members providing necessities to their neighbors at war, or leaders fighting to end gun violence — this issue celebrates just a tiny amount of the work at the center of it all.
What we love most about sharing and celebrating good news is that it’s messy and real; it’s full of hope, failure, triumph, and resilience. It helps us step into a new day with the unwavering belief that things do get better.
And it’s helpers like these that solidify this hope. As we step into another year navigating these unparalleled trials — and the enduring humanity that accompanies them — we look to them.
Every year we highlight helpers in a number of categories — and this year we’ve chosen these categories:
- Education Helpers
- LGBTQ+ Helpers
- Art & Media Helpers
- Healthcare Helpers
- Ukraine Helpers
- Gun Safety Helpers
- Climate Helpers
- Equality and Justice Helpers
- Community Helpers
In this post, we’re highlighting Healthcare Helpers and simple ways to make a difference:
Healthcare Helpers To Know —
Dr. Jennifer Lincoln
Dr. Jennifer Lincoln is “not your average OBGYN.” A doctor, mom, and author of the book “Let’s Talk About Down There,” she works to demystify sex ed so people can understand their bodies and feel empowered to advocate for themselves.
Lincoln’s popular social media platforms include educational resources and document her work in the abortion advocacy space. After the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, Lincoln sprang into action.
She quickly launched the website threeforfreedom.com to help people access contraceptive and abortion pills in all 50 states, as well as co-founding the advocacy group Obstetricians for Reproductive Justice, alongside two other OBGYNs (Dr. Jenn Conti and Dr. Heather Irobunda).
“We see what happens,” Lincoln said at a rally in June. “These politicians who make these laws aren’t there at 2 a.m. with the person who is dying. So they can sleep at night, but we can’t. We have to fight back, because we are actually the experts in this, and they are not.”
Dr. Paul Farmer
Dr. Paul Farmer was a world-renowned infectious disease expert, humanitarian, and equitable global health advocate who passed away in February of 2022.
His life of service started in 1982 when he started his first clinic in Haiti, which grew into a hospital serving over 150,000 people.
Farmer co-founded the health and justice organization, Partners in Health, which works in 12 countries, focusing on equitable care for maternal health, tuberculosis, HIV, Ebola, and some of the world’s most infectious diseases.
Though Farmer is no longer with us, his influence on healthcare has indelibly shaped the future of care.
“This could be very simple: the well should take care of the sick.”
Scientists Finding Cures for HIV
In 2022, two more people were cured of HIV (out of five total in history). While a universal cure is yet to be discovered, scientists have found success in specific cases.
Marshall Glesby, infectious disease specialist and coauthor of a recent HIV cure study told PBS: “There is incremental progress being made in terms of our understanding of where the virus hides within the body and potential ways to purge it from those sites.”
Here are a few highlights on HIV cures from 2022:
- Tel Aviv University scientists created an injection using genetically engineered white blood cells that secrete neutralizing antibodies that destroy HIV. It has thus far only been through animal trials.
- Three new mRNA HIV vaccines are undergoing clinical trials.
- A third known person (and the first woman) has been cured of HIV after receiving a stem cell transplant from the blood of an umbilical cord of a baby with a rare genetic mutation.
- Scientists reported that another man with HIV was possibly cured through a stem cell transplant to treat his blood cancer.
3 Ways To Broaden Access To Healthcare:
- Learn more about barriers to healthcare. We recommend streaming “Bending the Arc” on Netflix, the documentary about Partners in Health. Also consider listening to “Abortion, with love” and “HIV Hour” wherever you get your podcasts.
- To support healthcare helpers and those seeking treatment, donate to the National Network of Abortion Funds (abortionfunds.org), Partners in Health (pih.org), and (RED) (red.org).
- Be a healthcare helper in your own community! Become an an escort for your local abortion clinic, donate blood, sign up to be an organ donor, or even volunteer at a hospital or vaccination clinic near you.