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Podcast: From Heartache Comes Hope

Founders of Jeffrey Modell Foundation discuss new documentary on "World of Promise."


When Jeffrey Modell continually begged his parents to “do something” about his primary immunodeficiency, it broke their hearts.

“He used to say ‘do something’ to his doctors as well,” recalls Vicki Modell on the latest episode of “World of Promise," a podcast that focuses on biotechnology and its promise to transform the lives of people and patients around the world living with serious and rare diseases.

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But Vicki said that she and her husband, Fred, saw their son’s words as an “impassioned plea.” In 1987, one year after Jeffrey’s death, the Modells founded a foundation in their son’s name. Since that time, the Jeffrey Modell Foundation has established a network of more than 800 expert physicians serving nearly 300 cities in 86 countries, spanning six continents. Indeed, the Modells have “done something.”

The Modells story is the subject of a documentary being released on June 11 through all digital and video on demand platforms. Titled “Do Something: The Jeffrey Modell Story,” the movie was produced by some of the same people behind ESPN’s popular “30 for 30” films.

During their conversation with “World of Promise” host Anthony Farina, the Modells talk about the film, the time they spent with Jeffrey, the work being done by the Jeffrey Modell Foundation, and they share advice for parents who may be going through similar circumstances with their children.

Click the player above to listen, or find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other podcast platforms.