Aaron Traywick was a visionary, with a drive that I had not experienced before. He was single-minded in his mission to end human suffering with regenerative medicine. Roadblocks would enter his path, but he never wavered. He spent less time thinking about his critics, and more time thinking about solutions to problems.
From what I hear, he was a D.C. lobbyist for regenerative medicine in a former career, although he never talked about it. That must have seemed like a lifetime ago for him. He wielded those connections and that knowledge to move science and regenerative medicine in a direction it had never taken before. He knew the rules, and he broke them well. His goal, as he often had stated to me was, “Inexpensive cutting edge medicine for all.” He said this repeatedly.
He had an idea to use the blockchain of cryptocurrency to fund his mission. He was always thinking outside the box. He was also often misunderstood. Some say he was an upward climber, and that he did not care whose shoulders he stood on to get what he wanted. I saw something else. I saw a man much like Steve Jobs, who had a vision for the future. There were resources available to make this vision a reality, and he was hell-bent on using this life he was given to realise his dream. This vision included a world free of the pain of decaying bodies and infectious diseases. This vision also included a scarcity-free world, with affordable treatments for the masses.
He taught us how to push boundaries, with whatever methods were available. He got one treatment to US clinical trials, and just before his death, he was working on 2 more, one a gene editing technology, called CRISPR-Cas9 to eliminate lung cancer, and a therapy using FOXO4-dri to eliminate senescent cells from the body. Several other treatments were in the works, and he himself was a martyr, taking an injection himself on stage at a Texas biohacker event. Perhaps this is the thing that made him the most notorious, but it was such a small part of who he was. No one knows how far he would have gone had he lived. He was just getting started.
I was privileged enough to watch him work up close. One time after someone had waged a particularly mean- spirited attack on a treatment we were offering, which by the way had endured the rigors of the US Clinical trial process, a huge feat in itself, I was obviously furious at this person. I said, “We are offering a cure to a despicable condition and this idiot does not even want it.” Aaron calmly turned to me and said, “We need to get back to work. Don’t listen to her. We have to get back to doing the work that others are unwilling to do.” I will never forget it.
Aaron, the world has no idea what it has lost in you. You would have been among one of the greatest in history, had you not been taken so very early. There is no word for what you would have given the world, you were brave and kind, and I will miss you.
Kelly Martin, co-founder of Ascendance Biomedical