Charlene Reed found her life’s calling in the midst of tragedy. In September 2010, her longtime boyfriend, Mike, developed a staph infection during a routine surfing session near the couple’s San Clemente home. Charlene rushed Mike to the hospital where they discovered that, in a matter of hours, the infection had caused abscesses on Mike’s spinal cord, as well as renal and pulmonary failure.
The infection Mike contracted is called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. This terrible type of staph infection is very resilient to most antibiotics and is constantly staying steps ahead of science by developing new resistances. Mike got lucky; doctors were able to save his life with emergency surgery on his spinal cord. His outstanding physical fitness and good health also played a role. However, Mike, who had enjoyed an active lifestyle of surfing and competing in vigorous outrigger canoe racing, would be wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life.
For the next two years, as Mike received medical treatment and rehabilitation in an assisted-living facility, Charlene threw herself into learning all she could about antimicrobial resistant infections. What she found was staggering.
“Antibiotic resistance is a global pandemic,” she says, “and it is especially widespread in China, India, and third world countries.”
She started to talk to global thought leaders in the world of infectious disease and learned that, while disturbingly common, it was a problem that received very little medical attention. “One of the experts I spoke with said to me, ‘Charlene, this is an unmet medical need on a global scale,’ and another person I spoke with said ‘this is the most pressing world medical problem today,’” she says.
It became clear to Charlene that there was a huge gap in medical research for finding a solution to the problem of antimicrobial resistant bacteria. Armed with a Ph.D. in molecular biophysics, and more than two decades worth of high-end career connections, Charlene set to work on building The Foundation to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance (FCAR). In a short period of time Charlene’s foundation has gained international respect, with Charlene even being invited to participate in global think tanks on the subject.
“When my vision became a reality in June 2012, I realized that I was well-connected, driven, and capable of doing a lot for this foundation. But the one thing we needed right then was a website, and that was something I couldn’t do,” she jokes.
Ready to take her branding of the foundation to the next level, Charlene typed “website design San Clemente” into Google, and up popped San Clemente Website Design.
Like everyone else Charlene has discussed her cause with, the SCWD team was horrified to learn about the dangers of antimicrobial resistant bacteria. They set to work developing a brand presence for FCAR, including a logo, social media presence and, of course, a website.
“The subject is a shocking one, and I wanted to portray that shock value on the website. I wanted to make the general public aware that this is everywhere and can hit anybody, anytime, anyplace” she says.
Charlene was exceptionally pleased with her website and is using it effectively, along with her Facebook and Twitter social media networks, to educate people on the dangerous effects of antimicrobial resistance bacteria. With greater awareness, research, and action we can save the next unsuspecting ‘Mike’ from this ever-evolving threat.