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When nurse Donna Clark cares for patients at MCI’s Fairhope clinic, she knows what they’re going through first-hand. A year ago, the Pensacola resident was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment for Stage 3 endometrial cancer.
Both her parents had succumbed to cancer – her father to lung cancer and her mother to gastric cancer. “I was pretty surprised to find out I had cancer, and I guess the hardest part of my treatment was the loss of productivity from being off work for a whole year and the side effects of treatment,” said Clark, 50, who joined MCI as a clinic RN four months ago.
Clark wrote about her experience and her zeal to stay current in oncology in an essay that landed her a $1,200 scholarship from the Oncology Nursing Society Foundation. The scholarship will enable her to attend the 2016 ONS Congress to be held in San Antonio, Texas, in April.
Her personal experience has made her a strong advocate for patients, says nurse supervisor Renee Sanford. “She works diligently to have treatments approved and begun in a timely manner,” Sanford said. “We are very proud to have Donna as a team member of Fairhope MCI.”
Clark earned her oncology nursing certification in 1998 and is president-elect of the Northwest Florida ONS chapter. She says she is blessed to serve cancer patients. “I know it is a calling that God has placed on my life, and it is my passion,” she said.
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