A Commemoration of Excellence: Insight From a Newcomer on MD Anderson's 70th Anniversary

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By Michelle Moore, MD Anderson Staff Writter

After graduating from college, I found myself in what I call a "post-grad" crisis. It's the time in your life where you ask yourself things like "How can I make a difference?" and "What matters?" Those were the kinds of questions weighing on my mind before I came on board as an intern in the Communications Office at MD Anderson, 10 months ago.

Today, I am four months into my new position as an official employee at this institution. And, while the answers to these questions are constantly evolving, I am now very sure that I am on the right track.

70 years and counting

What was meant to be only a six-week summer internship turned into a six-month internship. Why? Because I simply fell in love with this outstanding institution and everything it represents.

I feel so honored to be celebrating MD Anderson's 70th year, in spite of the fact that this institution was established almost 50 years before I was even born.

It doesn't matter if you've been here 20 years or 20 days -- you can't help but feel a sense of pride in all that MD Anderson has done and continues to accomplish.

How can I make a difference?
I graduated knowing that whatever my degree plan, I wanted to make a difference. Never did I imagine I would find a job -- and my first one at that -- that would allow me to do what I love and at the same time be a part of such an extraordinary, unparalleled vision.

The best when it comes to the business of cancer, MD Anderson is also the best in the business of people. It is, simply put, a place of hope, where everyone, from the valets to the nursing staff and doctors, understands the fears and uncertainties patients often experience throughout their cancer journeys.

I have the privilege of working side by side every day with some of the most talented, dedicated and driven people I have ever known. All have one mission in mind: Making Cancer History®.

What matters?

As I took in all the festivities at MD Anderson's 70th anniversary celebration at Minute Maid Park on May 5, I felt a plethora of emotions. Privileged, to be a part of the No. 1 cancer center in the world. Saddened, to know that there are so many suffering from this horrible disease known as cancer. But most important, blessed to be able to wake up every morning knowing what really matters: family, friends, faith, love ... and hope, something this institution offers to more than 100,000 patients every year.

Working here, your priorities become evident and your gratitude grows to immeasurable heights. It's impossible to go to work and interview a mother who's lost her child to leukemia and then go home and spend the evening mad because the cable is out or someone cut you off on the road. Little things like that no longer occupy a space in my thoughts.

I have many close family members who have passed away due to cancer, and I even have some who are currently being treated at MD Anderson. I know firsthand how real cancer is, but just as real are the amazing strides that are taking place, right here where I work.

How many people get to say that? I do know that at the anniversary event, 2,000 people were proud to say, "Thank you, MD Anderson." I know, because I was one of them.

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