A World Cancer Day Message from the People of Premier

“You have cancer.” It’s something you hope to never hear. For so many of us at Premier Research, we’ve watched loved ones fight for their lives — or fought for our own. That’s why we choose to work at Premier, where our focus is bringing new treatments to patients so that we can help make cancer care more equitable around the globe. We care — about the science, about our customers, and most importantly, about the patients and their loved ones that are battling for their lives. For us, cancer research is personal.

This World Cancer Day, Premier Research team members opened up about why this day matters to them. Here’s what they shared:

“World Cancer Day reminds me about the people who need new therapies the most — and for whom our work really matters.”

Adrian Markowski, Senior Site Contracts Lead, Study Start-Up

“World Cancer Day matters to me because I have seen firsthand how easily cancer can make you feel helpless while in its grasp. My husband, Brian, lost his mother, Sherry, on August 27th, 2023, after a 14-year battle with breast cancer. Anyone that had the pleasure of meeting Sherry would never guess what she was battling. She was always optimistic and smiling, would give you the shirt off her back, and could make a stranger feel like a friend. We miss Sherry greatly and find comfort in knowing that she is no longer suffering and can finally be at peace.”

Amber W. Anderson, Senior Project Specialist, Project Planning & Management

“World Cancer Day is important to me because cancer is much more than something to think about in a day. It reminds all people of those who suffer daily, those who develop new treatments in hopes to someday find a CURE, those who work hard to research potential treatments and those who have a family member sick from not only cancer but the current treatments. With a strong focus on this day comes a reminder that we have a long way to go, and, with increased awareness, we shall achieve our goals for a cure someday.”

Amy Findling, Project Director, Oncology

“My brother is fighting cancer. He’s had immunotherapy & is now on radiation therapy. This is our last hope, but while they are still treating him, we have hope.”

Anne-Marie Skett, Associate Director, Finance

“World Cancer day is helping unite the cancer community to reduce global cancer burden, and promote greater equity. Access to life-saving cancer treatment and care should be equitable for all — no matter where you live, what your income, or ethnicity. As a cancer survivor myself, I have always understood the importance of providing treatment options for patients in the community setting. With patient centricity being an FDA guidance focus this year and with all of the changes we’ve recently seen in digital technologies, advancing cancer treatments, while still putting the patient first, is becoming much more mainstream and I couldn’t be more excited about the future of cancer research.”

Ashley Herrick, Ph.D., Executive Director, Oncology Program Strategy

“World Cancer Day matters to me because I was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia at the age of 31, and it changed my life forever. Cancer impacts Everyone.”

Brian Cosmello, Director, Treasury

“World Cancer Day matters as it helps to deliver key messages on prevention and encourage donation to cancer associations & research.”

Carole Brevelet, Senior Project Manager, Oncology

“World Cancer Day matters to me because cancer can affect anyone at any time.  Awareness is key to advocating for healthcare that leads to early detection and treatment. My 5-year-old niece has been cancer free over two years after her retinoblastoma diagnosis. My 14-year-old nephew is in his sixth week of chemotherapy and preparing for limb salvage surgery as he is on his victory journey to defeat osteosarcoma. We lost an aunt to ovarian cancer 27 years ago, to see the growth in detection, treatment and survival rates over the last 2 decades gives us hope.”

Chemika Rhodes, Site Start Up Associate II

“I support World Cancer Day as it matters to me. I have been through cancer via my mother-in-law, who had breast cancer 10 years ago, and we helped and supported her in her fight, which she won. More recently, my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. This is impacting his day-to-day life. He has learned how to manage but with a recent stroke, I wonder how he will manage. The five Values of Premier are key values in the fight against cancer. Caring may be the first on the top of the others.”

Corinne Blanchet, Executive Director, Program Delivery, Rare Disease

“World Cancer Day matters to me because it is raising cancer awareness and eliminating the stigma and fear attached to it. Assisting patients in recognizing the early signs and symptoms of cancer, allowing them to seek treatment sooner by educating people on the major risk factors, and raising awareness about cancer, including early detection, treatment, and more. We have to make people aware of the significance of regular screenings and check-ups.”

Devanand Joshi, M.Pharm_QA, Site Start-up Associate-II

“World Cancer Day is HOPE. It brings us HOPE and awareness to a disease that does not discriminate.”

Erin Snider, Project Manager II, Oncology

“World Cancer Day gives me hope that we will continue advancing treatments. My husband has a rare form of sarcoma that he has been battling since late 2019. It is my hope that he and others with both common and rare cancers will have access to a cure within their lifetime. We aren’t done writing our story together and World Cancer Day lets us know that there are others invested in the search for a cure or more effective treatment!”

Jennifer Butt, Clinical Lead II

“World Cancer Day matters to me because I am 1-month cancer free due to the global efforts to find cures for this ugly disease.”

Joan Sutphen-Glowatz, Executive Director, Project Delivery Oncology

“We all come together and pledge allegiance to never stop fighting until a cure is discovered.”

Jon Quick, Project Manager II, Oncology

“World Cancer Day matters to me because with the work we do, we are closer to the day when no one’s world is turned upside down because of cancer.”

Kaitlyn Fell, Associate Project Manager

“World Cancer Day is important to me because both my parents have fought cancer. My mother died in 2017 from complications due to uterine papillary serous carcinoma, a rare endometrial cancer that accounts for 10% of new cases, but 40% of deaths. She was diagnosed in January and died in March, at 69. My dad has had prostate cancer since 2008; he was stage 4 when diagnosed. After radical surgery and many treatments, he is still with us, at 78! My parents represent the contrast in survival rates when a type of cancer is well-documented and treatments are abundant, vs. the opposite.”                       

Karsen Titus, Associate Manager, Clinical Operations

“World Cancer Day matters to me because it is a time to support each other and bring hope, as we are all affected by cancer in some way.”

Lauren Savino, Senior Project Specialist

“World Cancer Day matters to me. Early identification and prevention are the best ways to combat cancer.”

Laure Hugret,Senior Director, Program Delivery Oncology

“World Cancer Day matters to me because it helps raise awareness about cancer’s global impact and the importance of prevention, early detection, and treatment. It is a day to recognize the millions of people who are affected by cancer every year. By spreading the message about cancer prevention and the latest advancements in cancer research, we can work towards reducing the burden of cancer and improving the quality of life for those affected by it.”  

Leslie Terrell, Associate Director, Salesforce Administration

“World Cancer Day matters for it is that gentle reminder of my own story of hope and a second chance in life as a cancer survivor. It’s a day of reflection and continued hope for increased resources for cancer survivors-to-be and their families. World Cancer Day is a day where I embrace a continued perseverance, a strong determination, and ultimately a forever gratefulness to see another year cancer free.”

Lynee Anderson, Senior Clinical Research Associate

“World Cancer Day is a day of hope that advancement of medicine will help humans fight against cancer.”

Magdena Nikolova, Standards Support Specialist

“I’m thankful daily for the privilege of working in oncology development with our visionary clients.”

Marilyn Kay Kludt, Senior Project Director, Program Delivery, Oncology

“Cancer is complex and can result with years of surgery and chemo and additional complications that were not an issue prior to therapy (i.e., immunodeficiency, anemia, neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, low T-Cells, etc. and new infections). The patients many times do not understand the complexity, verbiage, or cancer jargon and need a healthy caregiver with knowledge to advocate for them, but they may not have someone to do so. In my culture, there is stigma about healthcare. People from the Middle East often hold superstitions, paranoia, and fear that can inhibit proper care (i.e., my mom canceled surgery four times). Additionally, the role the patient played in a family is forever changed and sometimes family members get frustrated due to not understanding why they can’t complete the same tasks as they did prior to therapies.”

Matt Ishu, Senior CRA, Functional Services

“World Cancer Day matters to me since this is a day where we can create further opportunities to reach a wider audience and create awareness and support for people in need. This day will help cancer patients know that there are multiple studies conducted across the globe for a cure. This is another day for hope knowing that participation in clinical trials would help pharma companies bring drugs to market at the earliest by ensuring the safety of the subjects during the entire development lifecycle.”

Raja Makendran NR, Site Start-Up Associate II

“I don’t think there is a single soul who hasn’t been touched in some way shape or form by cancer. Loved ones, friends, relatives, co-workers, mentors to name a few in my life alone. For me it’s also a bit more personal, as I spent most of my life dedicated to trying to treat and cure cancer patients for a good 20+ years of my career. Every time, you hear a tumor type, I think of all my patients battling it and all those who had done so before them. People always ask me years later, ‘do you remember me?’, and I always say ‘of course, I always will.’ It’s those thousands of patients and families I have had the privilege of treating over the years that made me want to do it on a larger scale at Premier.  

When I left practice and came to Premier to do research, I promised my patients that I’m not doing this in vain, and that with each clinical trial I am on, I have the opportunity to help bring this hope and potentially life prolonging treatments to millions of patients all over the globe. So many don’t realize what this means, an extra Christmas, making a graduation, or seeing your child getting married. There are way too many that don’t make it, while they are waiting for a spot on a trial. For all of my patients who I have treated over the years, every time I’m on a successful trial that leads to drug approval, I raise my glass and say, ‘This is to you’.”

Salini Naidu M.D., Medical Director II

“World Cancer Day shines a light on the important work we do every day to ensure we have therapies that help fight cancer. My grandmother passed away from breast cancer prior to me being born and if the therapies we have today were around, she would have been able to fight it!”

Sarah Kern,Talent Partner, Global Talent & People Strategy

“World Cancer Day matters to me because I was diagnosed with colon cancer in March 2022, and treatment did extreme damage to my long-term health.”

Shannon Richards, Senior Project Specialist

“World Cancer Day matters to me because it is a day to acknowledge the impact cancer plays in our existence. As a daughter who watched her mother suffer from cancer, it is personal for me. Cancer touches our lives by forcing us to face our fears, call upon our strengths and fight together. Cancer doesn’t discriminate…it chooses you and your loved ones regardless of race, religion or social economics. It is a world medical issue and will take everyone coming together and doing their part. And hopefully someday it can be fully eradicated.”

Stacy Miller,Principal Records SpecialistGlobal Records Management

“World Cancer Day matters to me because three years ago, I lost my mum to esophageal cancer. Diagnosed on 12th Aug 2020, she passed on 16th Dec 2020. Survival rates for this type of cancer are extremely low. In January 2023, my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer. After a long debate, he chose removal of the prostate. Regular checks ensure his health. Research into cancer is paramount, especially cancers like the esophagus where we need to improve survival rates and provide patients with a fighting chance. Early detection and regular check-ups are crucial in the fight against cancer.”

Vicky Jones, Senior Proposals Development Coordinator

We are grateful to all the Premier Research team members that shared their perspectives with us and opened up about their difficult experiences with cancer. We are grateful for the chance to work together to support innovation in cancer treatment.