I have been working with oncology patients for 10 years and still love doing what I do every day for the patients and family. I started as an oncology nurse at Boone’s Stewart Cancer Center and then became the facility’s first oncology nurse navigator. Now I am an oncology nurse practitioner. Oncology care is very specialized and also personal in many ways. Patients may have the same cancer diagnosis, but each person’s needs and care may be different. It is so important to see patients not as numbers but as individual beings. Treat each patient as you would like your parents to be treated. That’s my motto!

When did you know you wanted to be in the medical field? After I started working at the eye clinic, where I was first introduced to patient care.

Why oncology care? I took care of my first terminal lung cancer patient when I was a graduate nurse, and I was very humbled by his optimistic and resilient attitude. It was a very rewarding experience taking care of him.

Favorite thing about being a physician at MCA? The patients

Best advice you’ve ever received and why? Always be kind to everyone you meet because you never know how much your kindness would mean to the person, who might be having the worst day of his or her life.

Favorite quote. Enjoy the present. Don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future.

If I wasn’t a physician, I would be working with animal rescue!

Favorite charity and why? Animal rescue — I love my doggies!

One item you couldn’t live without? Phone

Favorite food or favorite restaurant and menu item in Columbia? My mom’s cooking

What’s your hidden talent? I don’t think I have one!

First job? Customer service representative

Next bucket list item? Bring my kids to the Grand Canyon

Favorite way to spend your free time? With my family

Career highlight you are most proud of? Becoming an oncology nurse practitioner

Where is your happy place? Home

Favorite all-time song and why? I have too many favorite songs!

What TV character would you play and why? Forrest Gump. That is my favorite movie, and I love his motto of just giving with no expectation of getting something in return.

Favorite holiday and why? Chinese New Year. Family time and of course lots of yummy foods!

What is something newly diagnosed patients at MCA should know? Do not ever be afraid to ask your provider questions. We are here to help you and be your advocates.

If I didn’t have _____, I don’t know how I would make it through the day. My family. They are my pillar of support.