Jenna Bilinski | February 1, 2016
“During a massive snow storm a couple years ago I received a phone call about consenting a patient. It was a young woman, newlywed, who just found out she had cancer. She was told that she had to have an immediate hysterectomy and that she would never be able to have children. It is times like these I return to my car and cry,” says Toni Page-Mayberry, Tissue Biorepository Consent Coordinator at the Harper Cancer Research Institute (HCRI), as she reflects on one of her most memorable patients. In this interview, Page-Mayberry describes her role at the Institute and what it means to donate to the tissue bank.
Page-Mayberry begins by connecting with local Surgical Coordinators and receives a list of names of those scheduled for surgery with a confirmed cancer diagnosis or a suspicion of cancer. She travels to hospitals to meet patients who are being admitted into surgery for a biopsy. “I get to the hospital right when the patient is arriving. I may be the first person they see. I tell patients I work at HCRI and that their doctor participates in our tissue bank program. Then I explain to them the process.”