GO’s mission to “bring the best cancer care to underserved patients around the world” and to do so through collaboration speaks to me. It brings me back to the reasons of why I pursued my master of public health twenty-five years ago: health equity and social justice. I’ve now been a GO volunteer since August 2013 and feel extremely lucky to be part of a much-needed organization. In my day job at Dana-Farber Cancer Center, I work at an institution where people receive the best cancer care possible. In an ideal world, all people would have access to such care. According to WHO, more than 60% of the world’s total new annual cancer cases occur in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America – and the same regions account for 70% of the world’s cancer deaths.
As a GO volunteer, I have primarily dedicated my time to The GO Map, which is a free interactive online platform that catalogs cancer research, care, and outreach efforts and enables collaboration and knowledge sharing. Similar to the other volunteers, I see my role as rolling up my sleeves and jumping in to do whatever needs to be done, which sounds much more exciting and action-oriented than writing progress reports for the NCI, submitting or reviewing invoices, developing project plans, testing the website, submitting abstracts, and outreach for The GO Map. Recently I’ve also taken on the role of a GO Advisor. I’m excited about my new role because it offers me a broader view of GO’s activities.
- Health equity – collaborating with other professionals on projects that will impact the burden of cancer in low and middle-income countries (LMICs).
- The other GO volunteers – I have learned and continue to learn from my fellow volunteers. GO volunteers come from diverse professions.
Tough question because I gain so much from my experience with GO. I gain a larger professional network, I gain satisfaction from doing my part to make a difference in health equity, I gain improved technical skills from working with a remote team, and I feel as if my family/community has grown. It truly is remarkable to be a part of a group of diverse, dedicated, professionals who all roll up their sleeves for a common cause.
Thank you, Jane, for consistently finding new ways to lend your expertise in support of GO.