When my turn in line comes, I will have no hesitancy about rolling up my sleeve and getting a shot in the arm. My position on the benefit and potential risk of receiving one of the new mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccines is based on over 30 years of studying how we can use the immune system to treat cancer. I’d like to summarize how this experience has influenced my perspective on taking the vaccine.
It’s Thanksgiving morning and I am sitting quietly at our kitchen table while my wife Teresa bakes some bread. That is about the only thing usual about the holiday this year. No big turkey. No happy sounds from children and grandchildren running about. We will be Zooming with the family shortly which is better than nothing, but certainly not the same as reading a book with a grandchild on your lap in front of the fireplace. Nevertheless, we, like everyone else, are doing what we can to make the best of the current circumstances and look forward to the day, hopefully in the not too distant future, when we can be together again in person.
Social media and the news these days are full of reports on how some people struggle to fill their days with meaningful activity. This has not been a challenge for HCCC faculty, staff, students and volunteers. The mission of Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center – “to decrease the pain and suffering caused by cancer in Iowa, surrounding communities, and the world through improved cancer prevention and treatment based on three interdependent missions of research, clinical service and education” – is unchanged. Needless to say, our approach to addressing this mission has been impacted significantly. We have adjusted to, and indeed thrived through, this challenge because of the remarkable members of our team.