June, 2024
June 2024
Michelle Tucker’s inspiring story of becoming a nurse – Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
May 11, 2024, 13:57

Michelle Tucker’s inspiring story of becoming a nurse – Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute shared on LinkedIn:

Michelle Tucker, BSN, RN, (right) wanted to be a nurse for as long as she can remember. Her great-grandmother was in the field, and she loved hearing about the different people she had cared for in her practice. Tucker enjoyed helping others, too, and was intrigued by how the human body worked.

Her curiosity led Tucker to Northeastern University, from which she earned her nursing degree, and she began her professional career working in a pediatric intensive care unit.

Then her mother (left) was diagnosed with lymphoma.

‘As a patient at Dana-Farber, she was treated for multiple recurrences under the care of Dr. [Phillipe] Armand,’ Tucker recalls. ‘She went through many different treatments, including chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant, and clinical trials.’

Watching her mother’s journey, helping when she could, Tucker’s focus became clear.

‘I decided that my passion was cancer care, and I started taking steps towards that goal as a pediatric oncology nurse,’ she explains. ‘I absolutely fell in love with my little patients, and my mother encouraged me along the way. We followed Dana-Farber oncology treatment plans, and her battle lasted almost 15 years before she ultimately beat lymphoma. Her care at Dana-Farber was exceptional, and I dreamed of working there.’

Seven years after her mother’s remission, and with her fierce encouragement, Tucker decided to pursue that dream. When Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center – Foxborough opened in 2022, she was hired as one of its infusion nurses.

Then, one weekend after the facility’s grand opening, her mother received a new diagnosis: pancreatic cancer.

‘I knew that the closest facility to her was Dana-Farber – Foxboro, and that she and my father would be in the best hands,’ says Tucker. ‘Her nurse, Mindy Esposito, and doctor, Dr. Jonathan Wischhusen, became like family to my parents and me. ‘

In January 2024, her mother passed away from pancreatic cancer — but not before Tucker made a pledge to her.

‘I promised to keep fighting for her and to take the very best care of our cancer patients,’ says Tucker. ‘I truly enjoy talking to all of our patients, getting to know them, helping with any side effects they may be feeling, and hearing about successes along the way. Hearing that it’s the last day of chemo or that a scan was good couldn’t make me happier.

‘I always try to put myself in the shoes of our patients,’ Tucker adds. ‘My experiences allow me to do this a bit more.’ ”

Source: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/LinkedIn

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, located in Boston, Massachusetts, is a leading institution for cancer treatment and research. It was founded by Sidney Farber on 1947. Currently, the Institute has over 5,000 staff, faculty, and clinicians on board. They manage in excess of 640,000 outpatient visits each year, oversee more than 1,000 hospital discharges annually, and are actively involved in over 1,100 ongoing clinical trials.

As of 2023, Dana-Farber is ranked as the #4 cancer hospital globally. Dana-Farber’s research contributions include the development of Gleevec, a highly successful treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia.