Students from Memorial Universitys School of Nursing launched the first student chapter of Kidney Cancer Canada today. The initiative came about after a recent talk from a former cancer patient who inspired senior students to do more than just listen to his story.
Dan Mosher is a patient with terminal kidney cancer. He became involved with KCC one year after his diagnosis because he made a commitment that if he lived a year, he would do something to make it better for those coming after him. Mr. Mosher has since become the volunteer director of Kidney Cancer Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador. He gave students a different perspective during a recent visit to the school and the students were quite moved by his story.
Lana Mercer is the president of the new chapter. He made the concept of kidney cancer real with his personal story. His story touched me and made me feel that I could be that person to help and make a difference, said Ms. Mercer. It made me realize that compassionate nursing care does not only happen at the bedside but includes creating awareness and advocating as well. I want to make a difference, spread the word to colleagues and health care professionals, and most importantly improve the quality of life for not only patients living with kidney cancer but their families as well.
Mr. Mosher wanted to open the eyes of future health care professionals before they have a heavy workload and get them thinking before they are practicing. I wanted to show them through my eyes what a patient sees and reinforce the positive role of the nurse, he said. They need to know that a cancer diagnosis is a family diagnosis, not an individual one. They need to know why patients and their families are angry and scared. The student nurse plays a very unique role as the conduit between the patients and families and the doctors and nurses taking care of them.
Mr. Mosher is hoping this new student chapter will expand awareness among students and patients, and become a role model for other chapters across the country.
Dr. Judith McFetridge-Durdle is the director of the School of Nursing. She said shes constantly amazed and impressed by the students. Our students are responding to the needs of our communities even before they are practicing. They dont just listen to other peoples stories. They are moved and they take action. All of our nursing students are truly inspiring.