Creativity may help you cure your own cancer. Onno Faber was 33 years old when he learned that he had neurofibromatosis type 2, or NF2, a rare disorder in which tumors grow in the nerve cells that enable hearing, balance, and movement. In time Onno would almost surely lose his hearing and perhaps his eyesight and mobility. Unresigned to this fate, he is confronting the future with cutting-edge gene sequencing, artificial intelligence, and entrepreneurial spirit to solve a medical puzzle. His passion is “to make it exciting to work on rare diseases.” The room for discovery about NF2 is vast. Each victim has a mutated gene on chromosome 22 that causes cells to lose control of their proliferation. Identifying these mutations is important. Onno had his genes sequenced at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to get highly detailed data, and then had surgery to remove the first tumor along with his left hearing and vestibular nerves, leaving him permanently deaf in his left ear. Analysis of the genome sequence of his tumor from the Broad Institute revealed a potential clue: a mutation on chromosome 7 in a gene involved in the signaling that governs cell growth. That signaling also interacts with the faulty protein behind NF2, and furthermore, there is a drug for it! Except…doctors will not prescribe the drug until further research establishes that it works for NF2. Here’s where Onno’s creativity kicked in. Rather than take this as defeat, Onno saw this barrier as evidence that something could actually be done. He went after the challenge by founding a startup called the NF2 Project, whose mission it is to cure NF2 by pooling patient data and using powerful computer analytics to identify previously unrecognized genes that fuel the disease. From there it could be possible to find new, personalized treatments. Patients themselves — not drug companies — will be in charge. His new company is urging NF2 patients to have their genomes sequenced and upload the data so that colleagues can conduct genome-analysis and hunt for relevant mutations like programmers searching for bugs in code. It’s the beginning of a kind of precision medicine that tailors treatment to each patient’s particular genetic flaws instead of targeting broad “diseases” with general prescriptions. Read more and follow this remarkable story as it written.