Her motivator: “Just bonding with the patients. They’re just great, great people, and they gave me the love for what I do. They call me on my birthday. They sign up for research, donate their bodies for the sake of treatment. They really put themselves out there for the sake of finding a treatment for the disease, and I really admire that.”
Why patients sing her praises: “I think it’s because they trust me. They know I know them. The reality is that every patient is different—what works for one won’t work for another. Some won’t let the doctors touch them unless they call me first because I know them in and out—what medications and doses they can handle, what they can’t.”
Biggest challenge: “Seeing all of the complex psychosocial factors the patients face. They have a lot of pain, which makes it hard to hold down a job. They’re often not insured, and there are a lot of family dynamics involved in trying to get the care they need.”
What excites her: “When I started there was just one FDA-approved drug for sickle cell. Now it’s really blowing up with options and getting exciting. And the patients really have everything to do with that.”
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