Overcoming Research Barriers with a Little Help from Our Friends

Overcoming Research Barriers with a Little Help from Our Friends

Finding new treatments, and ultimately a cure, for breast cancer is a team effort, especially when there are a few research hurdles to clear along the way. Thanks to a new partnership with Walgreens, Susan G. Komen will launch a first-of-its-kind project to accelerate the pace of discovery focused on breast cancer recurrences and metastasis. This project will overcome research barriers by:

  • Breaking down silos that currently exist around patient data and samples
  • Increase the types of data included in research projects and make that data easily accessible to researchers
  • Increase the diversity of people represented in research datasets

Together, Walgreens and Komen affiliates nationwide are galvanizing their efforts to raise money for breast cancer research through Walgreen’s multi-year commitment ($25 million over five years). The investment will aid clinical research, support local communities and offer specialty training to Walgreens pharmacists.

For Jessica, This Project is Personal

Komen OC sat down with Jessica Hernandez, a Komen OC supporter and committee member and a Walgreens Regional Account Executive for Specialty Sales in Los Angeles, to learn more about her recent recognition from Walgreens for the work she’s done to support our organization and those impacted by breast cancer.

Komen OC: What made you want to support Komen and patients battling breast cancer?

Jessica: My mom, Estela Riela, is a two-time breast cancer survivor. She started volunteering with Susan G. Komen [Orange County] by participating in the Pink Tie Ball committee after her second battle. Once she joined the team, I decided to attend the meetings for the Pink Tie Ball to support her and the cause. It only took one meeting for me to go all in! I joined the committee right away and have been helping to plan the ball year after year. That was seven years ago and I’m proud to continue to be a part of Komen OC.

K: What does it mean to you to integrate your work and a cause you are so passionate about?

J: I have been working in the specialty pharmacy space for more than six years. Just over three years ago, I was given the opportunity to work for Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy on the oncology side. Every day I am driven to make sure cancer patients receive the utmost care as they go through their targeted treatments. I am passionate about my field of work because I get to engage with the nurses and doctors involved in cancer therapies.

It also inspires me to work more every day so we can eventually find a cure for breast cancer—since advancements in therapies have already come such a long way.

K: What else can you tell us about the exciting new partnership between Susan G. Komen and Walgreens?
J: As an employee of Walgreens, I am proud to be a part of a team that’s able to fund a cause very important to me. Our company line is “our passion is personal,“ and I find my passion is very personal in dedicating my time to a wonderful organization such as Susan G. Komen. I can see the impact of my efforts each day.

Thank you, Jessica for your years of support and dedication to helping us find and fund a cure! It is because of our supporters, like Jessica, that we are able to care for, advocate and support breast cancer survivors and those living with the disease on a daily basis.