The NET Research Foundation (NETRF) is ready to achieve new heights and I am honored to lead this organization. We will build on our tradition of teamwork and our record of research success. NETRF has an all-time high number of researchers working to unlock the mysteries of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). The caliber of these scientists is exceptional and their breakthrough ideas hold great promise. This work is on behalf of patients and families who deserve better answers and more options for an uncommon, poorly understood disease.
The path to a NET diagnosis can be frustrating and take years. No one should have to wait an average of five to seven years for an accurate diagnosis or treatment. I vividly remember a conversation with a newly-diagnosed patient who drove 800 miles to attend a NETRF educational conference because he needed information about the diagnosis with the knowledge he was not alone. That’s why NETRF offers educational resources to help people live their fullest lives. We also share essential information about important advances in the treatment of NETs. Our efforts can make the NET journey less bewildering and lonely.
I’m proud to say NETRF is funding pioneers who have changed the course of treatment in other cancers and are now looking to transform NETs. I’ve seen researchers who were previously working separately to solve the same scientific problem make great connections to advance their work. I wish everyone could hear the optimism expressed by researchers new to the field who see their potential to advance our NET knowledge. We support all who are blazing the trail in search of a cure.
When I joined NETRF in 2016 as the Senior Administrative Officer, I was impressed by the commitment of our Board of Directors, the incredible expertise of our Scientific Advisors, the talent of the staff, and the warmth of patients and families. I have been inspired by the strength and dedication of the NET community on all levels. I am grateful to all of you who have welcomed me to this special community.
Like so many others, my family and dear friends have been touched by cancer. But compared to other cancers, NET is still a mystery and we don’t know all we need to know. As NETRF’s new leader, I will apply all that I have learned from decades of working in hospitals and cancer patient advocacy organizations to improve the NET cancer patient experience and help ensure patients can find specialized NET treatment.
What’s next? We want to double-down on our ability to fund research to discover more effective treatments and cures for neuroendocrine tumors. We will go wherever we can find the most promising research and the best science. We will bring education to you to help you and your family learn about this challenging illness.
I approach this important role with passion and humility. I’m listening and learning from all of you. I hope you will join me and the entire NETRF team to accelerate the search for breakthroughs and above all, improve the lives of NET patients and their families.