Chapter Leader: Neha Damaraju
“I am currently a biomedical engineering student at Washington University in St. Louis and an aspiring physician-scientist. My mother’s journey and ensuing personal investigation into cervical cancer has taught me that the threads of clinical medicine, laboratory research, and society are braided together. To truly understand one aspect of this disease, you must understand all three. Throughout my lifetime, I hope to be able to make a contribution to each of the three threads involved in cervical cancer awareness, prevention, and treatment.
“I was fourteen years old when my mother was diagnosed with stage four cervical cancer. Her beautiful curly hair fell out and her skin faded, but the resolve in her fight never wavered. Her demeanor through her cancer journey taught me about humility, courage, and perseverance all at once. Though she is no longer with us, the lessons live on. From the day that she was diagnosed to the day my mother passed away, only about three months of time had passed. The confusion I faced in those three months has greatly shaped my career goals.”