Feb. 6, 2023 — It might sound inevitable that Maggie Rogers, 33, a childhood most cancers survivor, would someday find yourself pursuing a profession associated to most cancers not directly.
She reached that purpose just a few weeks in the past when she began working as director of pediatric, adolescent and younger grownup most cancers help on the American Most cancers 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, similar to different nonprofits and firms.
Her choice to immerse herself within the most cancers universe took a while.
“As a toddler, most cancers was a part of my identification,” says Rogers, who was recognized with stage III kidney most cancers when she was 4 years outdated and remembers beginning kindergarten bald from her intensive chemo remedies. “However to work within the most cancers area and to even have had it initially gave the impression to be too near house.”
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 Heart 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 targets started to shift as she started to marvel how she might higher assist sufferers themselves.
“My job at CAPC was faraway from the impression we had been having on precise sufferers since our major viewers was well being care professionals caring for sufferers,” she says. “I started considering I would be extra able the place there was much more direct impression on sufferers.”
As she acquired concerned in affected person teams and conversations on Twitter, she additionally began feeling extra relaxed with the opportunity of 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 Kids’s Oncology Group, the world’s largest group devoted fully 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 scientific 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 impression fertility,’” she says.
This work helped her notice that she may be able to do one thing significant within the most cancers house.
“I spotted I might 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 right match for me,” she says. “It integrates my training, my private expertise, and my skilled expertise all collectively in a single.”
The most effective components 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.”
In truth, Rogers says she typically hid the truth that she had most cancers as a toddler from her co-workers.
“Then somebody outed me and folks had been crying within the workplace,” she says. “It was uncomfortable for a brief time frame. I am so completely satisfied that, on this job, I am not the token most cancers voice.”