Meet Augustine Eze – Tissue Navigator
My name is Augustine Eze and I have the privilege of serving as the Tissue Navigator at Children’s National Hospital. Coming from a small city in North Carolina, I came to D.C. for college in 2012 and have continued to love every moment in our nation’s capital. As an undergraduate student, I studied Biology with a focus in Global Health and have a graduate degree in Physiology and Biophysics. For the past two years, I have been involved in the clinical research field. Previously, I was involved in high-risk obstetrical and neonatal research and this is my first time becoming involved in cancer research.
When I learned about the position as a tissue navigator, I was immediately drawn to the unique role of conducting bench research and interacting with these families. Through my previous experience, I have seen the breadth of familial strength in times of trauma and incredible stress. In this position, I wanted to be able to work hand-in-hand with these resilient families in facilitating their desire to drive the research forward with their generous donation. This position has already shown me the critical and devastating nature of these diseases and the toll it takes on one’s entire family. I desire to work with these families and make their journey as impactful as possible.
Initiatives like GFAC and foundations like Swifty are so incredibly important because they encourage families to do all that they can in these exceedingly difficult situations. These initiatives allow families the chance to help others going through a similar experience, allowing research to be done to eventually find a cure. In the heartbreaking premature end of a child’s life, the donations allow for the family to battle cancer with the progress of research. I expect the initiatives to continue to grow as both advocacy and awareness of these programs increases. Furthermore, as families begin to see the large impact of their donation, they will hopefully encourage others to consider the same.
Tissue donation is an invaluable part of research. Without the abundance generosity of many families, pediatric cancer research would not have made the enormous leaps that is has over the past decade. And although the research is incredibly crucial, developing relationships and making meaningful impact in each family is even more important.