Feb. 6, 2023 — It may appear inevitable that Maggie Rogers, 33, a childhood most cancers survivor, would at some point find yourself pursuing a profession associated to most cancers not directly.
She reached that purpose a number of weeks in the past when she began working as director of pediatric, adolescent and younger grownup most cancers help 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, akin to different nonprofits and corporations.
Her determination to immerse herself within the most cancers universe took a while.
“As a baby, most cancers was a part of my identification,” says Rogers, who was identified with stage III kidney most cancers when she was 4 years outdated and recollects beginning kindergarten bald from her intensive chemo remedies.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 dwelling.”
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 targets started to shift as she started to surprise how she might higher assist sufferers themselves.
“My job at CAPC was faraway from the affect we have been having on precise sufferers since our fundamental viewers was well being care professionals caring for sufferers,” she says. “I started considering I might be extra ready the place there was much more direct affect on sufferers.”
As she obtained concerned in affected person teams and conversations on Twitter, she additionally began feeling extra comfy with the opportunity of transitioning into oncology work.
“I began getting much more comfy with the idea of affected person advocacy and knew I used to be in a singular 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 completely to pediatric most cancers analysis that is supported by the Nationwide Most cancers Institute.
“This places me within the room the place persons are speaking about scientific trials, how they’re designing them, and my position is to supply a affected person voice to inject questions like ‘how is that this trial going to affect fertility,’” she says.
This work helped her notice 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 youngsters with most cancers and that I might 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.”
Among the best 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 reality, Rogers says she usually 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 blissful that, on this job, I am not the token most cancers voice.”