Childhood Most cancers Survivor Now Works to Assist Others Like Her

Feb. 6, 2023 — It might sound inevitable that Maggie Rogers, 33, a childhood most cancers survivor, would in the future find yourself pursuing a profession associated to most cancers in a roundabout way. 

She reached that objective a couple of weeks in the past when she began working as director of pediatric, adolescent and younger grownup most cancers assist on the American Cancer Society. Her duties are broad, together with directing this system initiatives, tasks and actions round pediatric and younger grownup most cancers. She’ll additionally work on elevating cash from companion teams and stakeholders, comparable to different nonprofits and corporations.

Her resolution to immerse herself within the most cancers universe took a while.

“As a baby, most cancers was a part of my id,” says Rogers, who was recognized with stage III kidney most cancers when she was 4 years previous and remembers beginning kindergarten bald from her intensive chemo remedies. “However to work within the most cancers subject and to even have had it initially appeared to be too near residence.”

With an undergraduate diploma in psychology and a grasp’s in public well being and epidemiology, she pursued well being care-related jobs, which led to her earlier work on the Center to Advance Palliative Care at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York Metropolis, the place she labored for the previous 8 years.

Whereas there, her profession objectives started to shift as she started to surprise how she might higher assist sufferers themselves.

“My job at CAPC was faraway from the influence we have been having on precise sufferers since our essential viewers was well being care professionals caring for sufferers,” she says. “I started considering I would be extra ready the place there was much more direct influence on sufferers.”

As she received concerned in affected person teams and conversations on Twitter, she additionally began feeling extra relaxed with the potential for transitioning into oncology work.

“I began getting much more snug with the idea of affected person advocacy and knew I used to be in a novel place,” she says. “I started tweeting about my private most cancers expertise and the way this pertains to our well being care system.”

About 18 months in the past, she did one thing else that was fairly fulfilling: She joined the affected person advocacy committee on the Children’s Oncology Group, the world’s largest group devoted solely to pediatric most cancers analysis that is supported by the Nationwide Most cancers Institute.

“This places me within the room the place individuals are speaking about medical trials, how they’re designing them, and my position is to offer a affected person voice to inject questions like ‘how is that this trial going to influence fertility,’” she says.

This work helped her understand that she is likely to be able to do one thing significant within the most cancers house.

“I spotted I could possibly be in a room speaking about children with most cancers and that I would be OK,” she says.

The truth that the first-ever chief affected person officer on the American Most cancers Society was somebody Rogers had labored with over the course of her profession made the choice to use for the place a simple one.

“This job is the proper match for me,” she says. “It integrates my training, my private expertise, and my skilled expertise all collectively in a single.”

Among the best elements for Rogers: A sense that she’s not alone. 

“My private expertise shapes a lot of the work I do, however everybody on the American Most cancers Society is so open about family members who died of most cancers,” she says. “That is so completely different from my final place.”

The truth is, Rogers says she typically hid the truth that she had most cancers as a baby from her co-workers.

“Then somebody outed me and other people have been crying within the workplace,” she says. “It was uncomfortable for a brief time frame. I am so glad that, on this job, I am not the token most cancers voice.”


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