Young researcher helped professionally and personally by ACS

Tumor Suppressors Relay For Life Team

In 2004, Dr. Margaret ‘Molly’ McLaughlin-Drubin started working as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  She immediately began applying for grants to support her research, including one from the American Cancer Society.  In 2006, her application was accepted by the Society and she was awarded a $94,000, two-year grant, to further her research on how human papillomaviruses can cause cervical cancer and to better understand the disease.

Molly was honored to receive the grant from the American Cancer Society.  Not only was the organization going to support her professional efforts, it had recently supported her father, Joe, in his greatest time of need.  He had been diagnosed with rectal cancer and called the Society’s toll-free cancer information line, 1-800-227-2345, in the middle of the night with his questions and concerns.  The cancer resource specialist on the line had helped find the information he needed, and allayed his concerns.

In 2009, after a courageous fight, Molly’s father lost his battle with the disease.  About a year later, Molly and her family were still coping with their loss.  It was then that a co-worker asked if she and her family would like to join a team for the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Boston.  Molly agreed and participated in her first Relay with her Mom, Marge, who traveled to Boston from Pennsylvania for the event;  daughter, Maggie; and many colleagues from the Longwood Medical community.

Molly was hooked after her first experience with Relay and returned in 2011.  “Relay was cathartic; it helped me come to grips with my father’s death.”  She formed her own team, the ‘Tumor Suppressors’, and spoke during the opening ceremony about her experiences as a former Society grantee and how the organization has supported her both professionally and personally.  Once again, Molly had her young daughter Maggie and her Mom by her side throughout the night.

This spring, Molly is once again leading the ‘Tumor Suppressors’ and has joined the planning committee for the Relay For Life of Boston, serving as Team Development Chair.  “I am really excited and proud to be a part of this Relay. It’s a young event, and it’s growing bigger and better each year,” she says.  “Communities are making a difference by getting involved with their local Relay.  The community support  helps the Society to fund programs, services, research, and more, all to help those in the community touched by cancer.”