SAVED AND NOW SAVING – Maggie Roger’s Story

SAVED AND NOW SAVING – Maggie Roger’s Story

                                         BY: Boateng Valice Godstime

University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho

     MBChB’ 27

Marie Rogers was four years old when she was diagnosed with stage III kidney cancer by her physicians. She began experiencing symptoms like loss of appetite, blood in urine, unexplained loss of weight, and tiredness amongst others. The doctors explained that the tumor had grown into major veins and may have spread to regional lymph nodes. She was placed on Chemotherapy by her physicians and narrowly survived her ailment.
Now 33 years of age, she
reached her goal a few weeks ago when she started working as Director of Pediatric, Adolescent, and Young adult Cancer support at the American Cancer Society. Her tasks are broad, including directing the program initiatives, projects, and activities around pediatric and young adult cancer. She will also work on raising money from partner groups and stakeholders, such as other nonprofits and companies. “As a child, cancer was part of my identity,” says Rogers, Her decision to immerse herself in the cancer universe took some time.

With an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a master’s in Public health and Epidemiology, she pursued healthcare-related jobs, which led to her previous work at the Center to Advance Palliative Care at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, where she worked for the past 8 years. While there, her career goals began to shift as she began to wonder how she could better help patients themselves. “My job at CAPC was removed from the impact we were having on actual patients since our main audience was health care professionals caring for patients,” she says. “I began thinking I’d be more interested in a position where there was a lot more direct impact on patients.” As she got involved in patient groups and conversations on Twitter, she also started feeling more at ease with the possibility of transitioning into oncology work. “I started getting a lot more comfortable with the concept of patient advocacy and knew I was in a unique position,” she says. “I began tweeting about my personal cancer experience and how this relates to our health care system.”

About 18 months ago, she did something else that was quite fulfilling: She joined the patient advocacy committee at the Children’s Oncology Group, the world’s largest organization devoted entirely to pediatric cancer research that’s supported by the National Cancer Institute.

“This puts me in the room where people are talking about clinical trials, how they’re designing them, and my role is to provide a patient voice to inject questions like ‘how is this trial going to impact fertility,’” she says. This work helped her realize that she might be ready to do something meaningful in the cancer space.A steady growth indeed.

Maggie Rogers # AYA cancer

Maggie Rogers

She was saved from childhood cancer and is now saving others. Just remarkable ?


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