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Legacy of Love

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Barb has been a social worker at UR Medicine’s Wilmot Cancer Center since 1994, and works closely with the teams in Neuro-Oncology, Head and Neck Cancer and Radiation Oncology. In her pivotal role as a coach, advocate and problem solver, she encourages patients and families to think about adaption to their situations – creating a ‘new normal’- as a helpful way to cope. In 1997, Barb started the Adult Brain Tumor Network, a monthly forum which provides education and support for adult brain tumor patients, their family members and friends. In 1999, she also pioneered the annual Brain Tumor Awareness Week which includes a community picnic for adult and pediatric tumor patients and their families. Within her work, she takes an integrated approach in assessing how the physical, emotional, cognitive and social aspects of the patient intertwine. Due to the nature of brain diseases, a tumor in the brain can affect so many aspects of a person and who they once were. In working with patients, Barb presents the concept of a tumor as a type of “brain injury”, to help patients and families understand why their loved one is potentially acting, thinking or moving so differently. It is very evident that Barb is passionate about her work with patients and their families, and finds this calling to serve others challenging, interesting and rewarding!