Martin Freifeld, MD

Ronit Avni

As a doctor, Martin has spent a large part of his life treating his patients with medical needs.  But little did he know how his life would change when he became a patient himself.

For many years, Martin had no symptoms to indicate something was wrong with him and lived a normal and fulfilling life. But in his freshman year of college, he experienced fatigue, flu-like symptoms, anemia, and an enlarged spleen. After an initial misdiagnosis, he eventually was diagnosed with Gaucher disease at the age of 24. He was able to largely ignore his condition because his symptoms were not always present.  But when symptoms of Gaucher disease suddenly manifested during medical school and with no available treatment options for Gaucher, he turned to painkillers, which resulted in several years of addiction.

Martin eventually began treatment for his Gaucher disease, and later was able to beat his addiction with the help of a 12-step program.  Years later, though, a shortage of the treatment he was taking led to a worsening of his symptoms.  Martin knew he had to do something, so, working with his physician, he began a new treatment. Martin has been especially impressed by the responsiveness of the Gaucher Personal Support program, which helped him when he was ready to make the transition from private insurance to Medicare. With the help of GPS Reimbursement Support specialists, he was able to navigate the programs offered by Medicare while still continuing his home infusions.

Today, Martin is managing his health well and wants to teach others not to dwell on the negative or their own past mistakes. He wants to show that it is possible to overcome challenges, and today there are more resources than ever before to fight Gaucher disease. As a GPS Ambassador, Martin encourages those in the Gaucher community to speak with their doctors immediately about treatment options.


Monday Main Stage