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GBM diagnosis inspires innovative patient support strategy

An American not-for-profit organisation is recruiting students to join their cancer support fellowship TaketheFight

Established in North Carolina in 2012 by David Warren and his late father Steve, TaketheFight aims to train final year university students to become ‘Cancer Strategists’, able to give one-on-one support and advocacy to cancer patients throughout their diagnosis and treatment.

TaketheFight was inspired by Steve’s 2011 diagnosis of an aggressive glioblastoma (GBM).

“Dad had so many different doctors, so many experts on the cancer, the treatment and the related health issues, but I wanted to be the expert on the patient,” says David.

The two-year fellowship program, launched August 2015, is now available to final year students from the UK and Canada. It will equip students to make real differences in cancer healthcare and effect change in the patient care pathway in America and here in the UK.

“The concept of having an advocate who was part of the team, not a hindrance to the interaction with medical professionals but really an aid to that, a helper, somebody to do some legwork…I don’t see that there is any shortage across the country of people needing that kind of help,” says Dr. Glenn Lesser, Neuro­-Oncologist at The Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest Baptist.

Applications for the Fellowship are now closed.