My Remote Freindship with Eric Frey
In the winter of 2007/2008 I began to have some disturbing health issues that included roaming numbness and muscle spasticity. After a lot of internet research I began to associate these symptoms with classic (early) symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Scary stuff.
Besides my doctor I had few other people with which to communicate with on the subject. Oh sure, my spouse and family/friends were supportive but I really wanted to talk to someone who had been through something similar. That's when I recalled that Eric Frey went through some serious (and strange) health issues that drove him into the depths of the health system (in the USA) searching for an answer.
I first met Eric Frey when I interviewed for a new position for Progress Software based in Bedford, MA. The job focussed on new ventures that Progress Software wanted to explore and they needed someone to help turn it into a systematic process so a hundred or so opportunities could be vetted on a yearly basis (we ended up vetting about 200 per year—but that's a story for another day). I would be reporting to Jennifer Bergantino but Eric was a critical person on the "new venture" team and I'd have to get his approval (along with Jennifer Bergantino and Joe Alsop) before I got hired.
That's when I first met Eric (and yes, I got the job).
When Eric ran into his health issues he moved out to Jackson Hole and (I thought) into a semi-retirement mode (turns out he was far from retirement).
It had been at least a decade since I saw Eric—yet, in a desperate need for connection to someone who ran into sophisticated-hard-to-determine-cause health issues, I sent him an email explaining my situation.
His response blew me away.
Eric not only wrote me back. He wrote me back with a depth of communication that I hadn't experienced since Joe Alsop and I used to exchange emails. Wow.
Our email exchange lasted for months as I had various tests performed to try to find out what the hell was wrong. My health issue turned out to be a severe vitamin D deficiency (perhaps it was no coincidence that my symptoms were peaking in February).
Once I started popping the vitamin D pills the symptoms subsided and Eric and I wrote to each other less and less. Still, I will never forget his generosity, his fighting spirit, his smarts, and his overall goodwill.
Eric has many other talents (besides being a self-taught medical expert). There were rumours at Progress Software about how Eric scored perfect on his SAT tests. And then there were my many dealings with him in which his smarts helped guide our decision-making. Eric now works for AMD.
Here's to you Eric!
Email Patrick Lannigan at lannigan at gmail dot com for more information
This page was created and/or refreshed on March 09, 2016 @ 11:47:56