Feb. 6, 2023 — It may appear inevitable that Maggie Rogers, 33, a childhood most cancers survivor, would sooner or later find yourself pursuing a profession associated to most cancers ultimately. 

She reached that objective a number of weeks in the past when she began working as director of pediatric, adolescent and younger grownup most cancers assist 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 accomplice teams and stakeholders, akin to different nonprofits and corporations.

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

“As a toddler, 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 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 Middle 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 may higher assist sufferers themselves.

“My job at CAPC was faraway from the affect we had 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 able the place there was much more direct affect on sufferers.”

As she received concerned in affected person teams and conversations on Twitter, she additionally began feeling extra comfy 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 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 Kids’s Oncology Group, the world’s largest group devoted totally 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 medical trials, how they’re designing them, and my function is to offer a affected person voice to inject questions like ‘how is that this trial going to affect 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 noticed I might be in a room speaking about youngsters 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 schooling, my private expertise, and my skilled expertise all collectively in a single.”

Top-of-the-line 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 totally different from my final place.”

In reality, Rogers says she usually hid the truth that she had most cancers as a toddler from her co-workers.

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

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