Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Margie Brauer

“There is nothing like watching your child fight cancer to make you appreciate the value of cancer research,” says Margie Brauer. Margie and her husband, Brad, became intimately familiar with the impact of cancer when their oldest daughter was treated at VCU for a neuroblastoma as a young child. Ridgely survived, but she and her parents were forever impacted by the experience.

Twenty years later, Margie was diagnosed with breast cancer. Familiar with Massey’s reputation and expertise, she had no hesitation about traveling from her home by the Chesapeake Bay in Poquoson for a second opinion. During her visit she learned that she qualified for several clinical trials. Inspired by a desire to contribute to better cancer care for the next generation—a generation that includes her daughters—Margie said the decision to participate was a “no-brainer.”

“So much had changed in the twenty years since my daughter was treated. I can only imagine what will change in the next twenty years—years that will have a big impact on how my daughters or their children are diagnosed or treated. That was a big motivator for me to contribute to the process however I could,” says Margie.

Margie participated in two treatment trials, one for chemotherapy and one for radiation therapy, both of which examined new methods that could greatly reduce the standard treatment duration for certain breast cancers. She completed treatment in 2006 with a strong prognosis, and is back to enjoying her home on the water, her artwork, her family and her health.

In 2008, Margie signed on for one more trial that will follow her response to hormone therapy for recurrence prevention. She will have regular check-ins with her Massey team for twelve years.

“Coming to Massey is a joy. I have been treated with respect and compassion from day one, and my doctors and nurses have become an extended family, celebrating my return to health every step of the way,” says Margie. I have survived cancer, but more importantly, I’ve contributed in an important way that could save my daughter’s life one day. Nothing could be more important.”