Sometimes Ariel Shifter will look at the medical chart of young man or woman who comes in for their first chemotherapy treatment at the downtown Siteman Cancer Center, and she remembers how intimidating that first day of chemo was for her.
On her 21st birthday she was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, and just a few weeks later began bi-weekly chemotherapy. When she started treatments at St. Louis’ Siteman Cancer Center, she was a student at Mizzou, working on a Ph.D in psychology.
After four months of five-hour chemotherapy sessions, Ariel was in remission. She would only be required to come back to Siteman every-other month for checkups.
But now, she visits much more frequently.
A few months after her treatments ended she felt an urge to make a significant change, and switch her career path to fit a new found passion. Ariel says she believes there was a reason she was diagnosed with cancer at this important point in her life.
So, she applied for a job at the same hospital that helped cure her. And she now walks into the same chemotherapy pods that she once sat in.
As a clinical Trial Coordinator, she helps track the progress of patients, double checks their dosages and makes sure they are comfortable.
Ariel’s passion to help others doesn’t end when she leaves the hospital, her work outside of Siteman cancer Center may be even more significant.
She is a finalist for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Woman of the Year. She is in the middle of a friendly competition to raise the most money in hopes to find a cure.
You have until Friday, May 5 at 5 p.m., to donate towards Ariel’s total.