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Meghara Walsh, RN, BSN, is a member of the KCA’s Clinical Advisory Board and works at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. We spoke about her work with the KCA and in oncology nursing.

How long have you been working with the KCA and what motivated you to get involved?

I am still new to the Kidney Cancer Association as I joined in September of 2020. However, I have worked with kidney cancer patients throughout my entire career. As a nurse on an inpatient oncology unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, I administered and cared for kidney cancer patients receiving high dose interleukin-2. I then transitioned into a clinical research nursing role in the Genitourinary Oncology Service at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. I have spent the past 10+ years working on kidney cancer clinical trials and caring for the patients enrolled in them. I have developed such fondness and admiration for the patients and have witnessed and been part of so many advancements over the past 15 years. I wanted to become involved with the KCA to collaborate and network with other professionals in the community and help support, educate, and empower kidney cancer patients and their families.

What inspired you to go into medicine?

Growing up, I was always interested in science. I had family members affected by cancer, including my father, who unfortunately passed away from multiple myeloma. I wanted to be part of a team dedicated to finding new treatments, striving for a cure, and helping other patients and families affected by cancer to have resources and support.

What is most meaningful about being a nurse?

Being a nurse is very special to me. This career has afforded me the opportunity to go into medical research while also having the hands-on, direct patient contact and relationships that are so meaningful to me. My patients inspire me every day by allowing me to be part of their journey navigating the world of a kidney cancer diagnosis, by coping through the adversity of cancer, treatment side effects, and by going through the highs and lows of goods news and bad news with such grace, determination, and bravery. They inspire me to wake up every day and keep working on finding discoveries to improve patient outcomes better.

What is your favorite travel destination?

Currently, my favorite travel destination is Disney Word. My two children are young, 5 and 3, and are big Disney fans. Seeing the joy and wonder on their faces when we have traveled to the parks has been such a fun and memorable experience. Plus, Florida is usually sunny and warm, which is a nice escape from New England’s cold. When they are older, I think I will have a new favorite destination. I would love to do international travel as a family or head somewhere tropical and relaxing!

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family. I have a husband and two young children. We also have a golden retriever. We love to hike, go on adventures, and play games. I recently received a new bike for my birthday and have been getting into cycling as a form of exercise, which has been great.

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