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My friend Melissa

Today’s post is dedicated to one of the funniest, smartest, and beautiful people inside and outside. I decided to write a blog post on my good friend Melissa because she is awesome, but also because she has some hilarious stories.

I met Melissa on my second date with Dave. Apparently there were a group of sweet girls who went to Trinity University who decided they would take Dave under their wing and hang out. Melissa and Dave met because they were both computer programmers for a company called Quorum.

Since I have known Melissa she has held the following jobs and been involved in the following activities:

Computer programmer, travel agent, event coordinator, graduate student (UT Health Science), rail analyst for Exxon Mobil, marathon runner (she has run tons! I ran my one and ONLY marathon with her), adventure racer, jump bunch coordinator, neighborhood ladies board president, church member, MOPS member (2 groups at the same time), mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, Song Play coordinator, Sprockids volunteer (organization for getting bikes to underprivileged kids) and I could go on.

I have had a lot of fun with Melissa and we have had tons of adventures. She was in my wedding and Dave and I were both in hers.

A few days ago we were at a luncheon when I reminded her of probably the craziest jobs she has held- lab rat.

She was not literally a lab rat, but when she was a poor graduate and undergraduate student, she earned extra money by participating in scientific research experiments. You name it, she did it. According to Melissa, “When I was in college I tried to give plasma but I fainted. But the good news is that they paid me $30.00 even though I fainted and they couldn’t get any of my plasma!”

She once was paid $400.00 to be given a shot of the bird flu. I remember another time she was given a shot of some illness that made her sick for about two to three days. She got paid a few hundred dollars and felt it was worth it. By now all of you who don’t know Melissa are probably thinking “poor girl, she must have come from poverty.” Ha!!! This is far from true! She went to an expensive private high school and college. However, she was raised with a work ethic like nobody else. Maybe too much sometimes….haha!

I remember flying out to Laguna Beach for her bachelorette party and she had several bags of carrot looking muffins. Apparently it was another study- this one lasted a month. She had to eat these muffins (they wouldn’t tell her what was in it) and have periodic blood draws. For this she was paid a few hundred dollars.

She excitedly remembered that the BEST research gig was the one time she was paid $400.00 to have an MRI and look at different art pictures for 15 minutes. Often she did not know what she was getting into, but that is Melissa, always up for an adventure!

In conclusion and in all seriousness, Melissa is the most loyal person you will ever meet. You can go months (or probably years) without hearing from her and pick right up. She is an easy friend. She will invite you to a million things and not be offended if you attend half, or even less than that. She never talks bad about people. If you invite her to an event and she has booked 3 other events, she will try and make it, even if it is for a few minutes. I will admit I could never keep up with her schedule, but for her it works.

Ok, so now the “lab rat” information. It is quite interesting. 

Interestingly enough, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) allows for participants to be paid for clinical research experiments. Here is a link. FDA Rules

There is a website called clinicaltrials.gov that allows you to search for paid research studies in your area. I looked up Houston and they had several interesting “opportunities”.

Ok. So here is my question, what do you think about these studies?  Would you do it and do you feel it is ethical?

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