I am deeply saddened and truly shocked at this terrible news. I exchanged many PMs and posts with Peak over the earlier years of this site (I always called him Peak so I’ll do that here) and was a moderator for one of the topic areas of the site back in the days when there were different thread categories. There are very few people who try to maximize their health and minimize aging, while also publicly and candidly recording their successes and challenges so that others can benefit, and Peak was one of those generous few.
While Peak and I agreed on many things and also disagreed on some things as those who followed our posts would be aware, I learned a lot from him and the community he created. For example, he was the first source I found that discussed varicoceles which is something I turned out to have, and for that and many other things I will always be deeply grateful.
In thinking about his legacy, I truly think he, (and Nelson, and others like them) are true pioneers in what is an emerging paradigm of crowd-sourced healthcare that is evolving in real-time in front of us. Many of the major trends that are benefiting health as I write this share several characteristics:
- They are guided by discussion forums of un-paid contributors who share experiences and knowledge to help each other improve
- These communities combine a variety of backgrounds and points-of-view, including doctors, researchers, and people with wide arrays of experience, cultures and expertise to create a greater-than-the-sum-of-the-parts benefit
- The best of these communities have leaders who provide a degree of vision and crowd-control without which the community would disintegrate or not live up to its potential
- They embrace personalized health characteristics
- They give people the knowledge to view their own health (especially mental health) as something they can help to control, not just something that happens to them (something many of us commented on on Peak’s site in the context of Robin Williams’ death)
- They are almost completely unsupported by mainstream research or health authorities and are in most cases aggressively opposed by mainstream “thinking”
The community Peak created, especially as it relates to hormonal therapies is a great example of what these communities can achieve. I believe in 10 or 20 years what emerges (such as crowdsourced research) from these types of communities will become the center of the best healthcare models and substantially replace the current chronic-care mainstream as more and more people abandon reactive symptom-suppression healthcare for the type of enlightened-patient thinking Peak championed. As Carl Lanore has been saying, the future of human evolutionary success is likely to be determined by access to the best information, (something I have absolutely found to be true as one can be the richest, smartest person in the world but someone who is armed with better information will be better off) and Peak strove to be a pioneer in that.
I admired Peak’s boundless enthusiasm for new information (the first post I ever did on his site was about epigenetics which he immediately because fascinated with) and when we disagreed, the back-and-forth we had challenged my thinking,and made me refine my own views and manner of communicating them in ways that have since helped other people I have come in contact with. So his engagement with the health community will live on in ways he probably would not have expected. I also appreciated that his own views continued to constantly evolve as he learned new information, something many mainstream health celebrities seem to actively avoid.
I thought his best work was his analysis of TRT-related research where he applied excellent critical thinking and helped discredit a lot of the negativity coming from poorly done and/or negatively-biased TRT-related research. Ensuring that access to TRT and similar therapies not only remain available but improve and expand is something we can all thank Peak for his tireless pursuit of. This sad event is yet another reminder to say “thank you” while people are alive to hear it.
I am especially sad for Peak’s family and friends. Hopefully over time they can find some degree of comfort and purpose in knowing that he helped far more people than most people ever do, and carry forward a part of that in some way. I wish comfort and peace for his family, friends, and the entire Peak T community.