Mentor: Marlena Murphy
In 2018, Marlena Murphy was diagnosed with stage III triple-negative breast cancer. In 2019, as a patient advocate, she attended the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. After that, Marlena attended virtual GRASP sessions in 2020 and 2021 as a patient advocate. As a result of being a GRASP participant, in 2021 Marlena submitted feedback for an article on GRASP for Cancer Therapy Advisor, an online news source. She also received a recommendation and offer to serve as a volunteer on the Emory Winship Cancer Institute Patient and Family Advisory (PFA) Council. Because of Marlena’s commitment to advocacy and seeking knowledge beyond the realm of breast cancer, she was offered a position as a program manager with GRASP in 2021. Now, she serves as an enthusiastic team member, bringing together cancer researchers and advocates to exchange ideas and learn from each other. She continues to provide constructive feedback to cancer researchers from a patient’s perspective. She also works as a Community Advocate for Turning Point Breast Cancer Rehabilitation. Marlena’s role as a patient advocate was one she did not plan on during her lifetime, yet, she accepted it and decided that her diagnosis would not be in vain. Marlena is a mother to a teenage daughter and enjoys helping others. As a result of her diagnosis and desire to help people, Marlena entered grad school in 2020 to become a Clinical Mental Health Counselor. Marlena plans to use the degree to provide pro bono therapy for breast cancer patients and survivors.
Scientist: Jacqueline Mann, Ph.D.