My name is Isabelle Chau, and I am the Tissue Navigator of the Monje Lab at the Stanford School of Medicine. Originally from New York City, I recently graduated from Stanford University with a major in Biology and have been studying neurology for three years both at Weill Cornell Medical College and at Stanford.
While pursuing my undergraduate thesis in the Monje Lab at Stanford, I became motivated to become a tissue navigator when I learned about the opportunity to serve families who have lost loved ones to pediatric brain cancer. The dedication of these families to find a cure so that other families don’t have to suffer a similar loss has fueled my desire to take on this role, where I will be able to facilitate tissue donations. Helping laboratories across the country study these devastating cancers is crucial to finding a treatment. The collaboration between patients, families, physicians, and scientists involved in this fight against pediatric brain cancers has revealed to me the determination, kinship, and promise in finding a cure.
Initiatives like GFAC are imperative not only for advancing research through tissue donation but also for building a community that forms a united front against brain cancer. In donating tissue through these initiatives, families who have experienced tremendous loss take a strong final stand against brain cancer. I anticipate that these initiatives will continue to raise awareness of the need for tissue donation and of the impact tissue donation has already had on advances in cancer research. With initiatives like GFAC, the generosity and compassion of families will one day lead to a cure.
A Simple Two-Step Process
For the family, once a decision has been made to donate, only two things are required. The first is written consent for the child to become a tissue donor, and the second is a single phone call to a tissue navigator at the time of a child’s death to initiate the process.