I am currently writing this from an Amtrak train and am headed to Boston for two days. This trip has absolutely nothing to do with my senior project but seemed like a good opening. Starting this Monday, I will begin working at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) in the Abramson Cancer Center. I will be primarily working with Trish, a patient support specialist, who I met when I volunteered at HUP this past summer. I designed my senior project to allow me to continue the work that I was doing over the summer and even expand on it. I will be spending a majority of my time seeing Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer patients, while they are at the hospital receiving chemotherapy, radiation, or having a check-up with their doctor. A large number of the specific patients that I will be seeing will not only have a serious form of cancer, but also have financial woes. There are a few foundations that set aside funds each month for desperate patients. I will write grants in an effort to get help for the patients. This help could come in the form of meals, food, or even a family vacation. My goals for the four weeks that I will be working are to learn more about cancer in general and the medical profession, earn at least $10,000 of foundations’ grant money and befriend 50 patients that I will visit whenever they are at HUP.
Because Trish is the only person who is working to get the cancer patients money, I will be spending this next month trying to design a more effective system that allows more patients to get the money that foundations have set aside for them. I hope not to overwork myself and that I am successful with my goals. I will be periodically posting entries on this blog during the four weeks. Please read my posts, I will try my hardest to make them interesting.