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Coalitions of patient advocates now help steer research funding toward particular projects. Lilli Carré for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lilli Carré for NPR

Frostburg State University police officer Derrick Pirolozzi, right, conducts a "knock and talk" at a house near campus, reminding students of laws on underage drinking and open containers. Jennifer Ludden/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Jennifer Ludden/NPR

Victoria Ruiz (left), a postdoctoral fellow in immunology, works with Brianna Delgado, a high school student that she mentors, at the Blaser Lab, inside NYU's Langone Medical Center in New York, NY. Ramsay de Give for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ramsay de Give for NPR

Tom Murphy, 56, in his home in Gainesville, Va., was diagnosed with ALS four years ago. An experimental drug seems to have slowed the progression of his disease, he says, though most ALS patients aren't as lucky. T.J. Kirkpatrick for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption T.J. Kirkpatrick for NPR

Young poets Monica Mendoza (clockwise from top left), Erica Sheppard McMath, Obasi Davis and Gabriel Cortez have written about how Type 2 diabetes affects their families and communities. Courtesy of The Bigger Picture hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of The Bigger Picture

Abortion-rights advocates filled the rotunda of the state capitol in July 2013 as Texas senators debated sweeping abortion restrictions. Some of those restrictions are now under federal review. Tamir Kalifa/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Tamir Kalifa/AP

Dr. Lester Minto closes his clinic, Reproductive Services of Harlingen, after 35 years. Lisa Krantz/San Antonio Express-News/Zuma Press hide caption

itoggle caption Lisa Krantz/San Antonio Express-News/Zuma Press