My entire career has been in healthcare. My first part-time job in high school was at a physician’s office. Since 2005 I have been working in the field of clinical research. I think my career path and interest in clinical trials helped prepare me for one of the most transformative events of my life.
On March 17, 2017, I heard the dreaded word “Cancer” that would mark a watershed moment in my life. It was my mom, my best friend, and my mentor. The doctor informed us that she had Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer. Although it wasn’t a good prognosis, I was determined to find the best cure for my mother. I instantly knew that saving her would be my mission here on.
Working at ICON, I was aware of the oncology trials which were going on. I have personally been part of trials where we would tackle more therapy cycles to extend the study phase because more and more treatments were helping, and people were surviving! That gave me a lot of hope as I took on my most important role during this time as my mom’s primary caregiver.
Given my experience as both a Study Coordinator and Project Manager at ICON, I was well-prepared for the consultations, discussions around treatment options and ultimately the two trials my mom would be a candidate for. I was able to explain to my family the benefits of clinical trials and details on the process that I was so familiar with, from working on the clinical side to now, being in the laboratory and managing oncology studies. My mom’s diagnosis and experience throughout the clinical trial process has helped me gain a new perspective on clinical trials. I was no longer just a Study Coordinator or a Project Manager; but a part of the clinical trial family as my mom was going to be a “subject” and I, her advocate.
My personal connection enhanced my understanding of the importance of setting up and managing oncology studies. Subject IDs to me were more than just identifiers, they were someone’s family. Each day as I logged into my ICON computer, I remembered my purpose. I was aware of the importance of my relationship with my clients and the sites. I knew the value of my participation and the impact of the knowledge that I have acquired over the years in my professional journey.
I have since moved to a different role at ICON within Kits/Global Supply Chain but continue to carry my personal journey and my mother’s legacy with me. Going on eleven years at ICON and watching all the advancements and successes we have made in oncology treatments; I think of all the lives we have touched. With every kit box we build and ship, and sample that we receive, I truly see the significance and outreach of the work we have been doing here. My hope and dream is to see a cure for all cancers through our continued dedication to clinical trials around the world.