Laura Wood, RN, MSN, OCN, is a member of the KCA’s Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the KCA’s Clinical Advisory Board. She is the renal cancer research coordinator at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center.
We spoke with Laura about serving on the Board and her work in medicine.
What motivated you to get involved with the Kidney Cancer Association?
Over the course of my 35 years in oncology nursing, I have spent 25 years in clinical trials. Most of the trials were for renal cancer where I was directly involved in trial implementation, patient and caregiver education, and side effect management.
Through my experience caring for kidney cancer patients and their families, I began to recognize the lack of resources and educational materials available to patients and caregivers as new therapies such as Sutent were being approved. I saw a real opportunity to bring together nurses who specialized in caring for patients with RCC to become that resource. This led to the development of the Kidney Cancer Association’s Nursing Advisory Board.
During my time with the KCA, I have had the opportunity to assist the organization in developing resources that help patients and their loved ones maximize quality of life while living with kidney cancer.
How long have you worked with the KCA?
Nancy Moldawer, RN, MSN and I started the KCA Nursing Advisory Board [now the Clinical Advisory Board] in 2006. I joined the Board of Directors in 2019.
What is your favorite travel destination and why?
My favorite place to visit is Alaska for its amazing landscapes, hiking, and wildlife. We visited Fairbanks in March 2017. We stood in the snow in 30 degree-below-zero temperature to watch and photograph the Northern Lights (they were unbelievable!) I also love watching brown bears during the salmon run.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love spending time with my granddaughter and gardening (and laughing when my granddaughter pulls out the flowers I just planted).
What is one thing most people do not know about you?
I played triple tenor drums in my high school and college marching band.
What inspired you to go into the medical field?
Wanting to help others and knowing there would always be a need for nurses.
What are the best things about your nursing career?
The opportunities to help make a difference in the lives of those I have had the privilege to care for. And having amazing colleagues who have been fabulous mentors, supportive, and fun to work with.