9/7/1946 — 3/17/2017
Please post your thoughts and memories of Dr. Darling.
Richard S. Darling, founding President of the FAIR Foundation, lost a courageously fought battle against cancer and died peacefully at his California home on 17 March, 2017. His was an extraordinary life. A Vermont native and veteran of the Vietnam War, he completed his higher education at the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry, going on to practice in Southern California. After a diagnosis of hepatitis C and liver cancer, Dr. Darling survived a long and complicated course of multiple liver transplants, protracted coma, diabetes and heart disease. His tenacity in conquering these obstacles, so well documented in his book, Coma Life, proved most valuable as he became an advocate for medical research to be more focused on common diseases affecting millions of people rather than the perceived imbalance in funding for research aimed at conditions affecting relatively few patients. Thus was born the FAIR Foundation, which Richard Darling brought to life. He never lost the passion to advance the FAIR Foundation mission of saving lives through meaningful and fairly allocated research dollars as well as broad efforts to increase organ donation. After serving years as the President of FAIR, Dr. Darling stepped aside but remained active as a Director, giving sound guidance regarding life-saving measures which could affect all Americans. Richard lived a life of accomplishment as a medical professional, educator, author, speaker and leader. He was an award-winning patient advocate. FAIR Foundation leaders will carry on with the tasks he started. Dr. Richard Darling will be missed but will remain a force in our pursuit of policies which save lives.
Thomas G. Peters, MD, FACS
President, FAIR Foundation