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A Story of Impact

Published: 

After watching her mother struggle through waiting for a cancer diagnosis, Rebecca Henshaw was inspired to do her part to get answers from pathology to patients, fast.

by Rebecca Henshaw, Senior Clinical Research Associate

I am a member of the Global Clinical Affairs team, working with labs around the world to conduct clinical studies of Leica Biosystems products. My team ensures our technologies are rigorously studied and meet required safety and efficacy thresholds before they are put to use in the hands of doctors to help patients.

It’s a job that requires a lot of different skills and consistently presents opportunities for growth and development. No two days are the same. One day I may be collaborating with colleagues to determine research parameters for a product in development and the next day I could be on site at a lab engaging with clinical investigators.

I’m especially proud of how my teams’ work on projects support Leica’s VISION24 -- to enable clinicians to efficiently provide patients a highly confident diagnosis within 24 hours of biopsy. VISION24 is exciting, worthwhile, and, for me, it’s personal. Like many associates, I have a connection to cancer.

An ‘aha’ moment. My mom has battled breast cancer twice, making her one of more than 300,000 U.S. women each year who receive that diagnosis1. When my mother was first suspected of having breast cancer, she was already extremely worried and anxious. She revealed to me that the worst experience of the whole ordeal, even worse than the side effects of chemotherapy, was waiting three weeks for the diagnosis after the biopsy. Those were three weeks of sleepless nights spent worrying about “what-if” scenarios rather than planning for what would come next. Those were three weeks without a treatment decision or the possibility to discuss options with her oncologist. Her words underscored to me that having cancer is stressful enough on its own without adding the need to wait for a diagnosis.

The take-away. Working at Leica Biosystems, I know I am making a difference for people like my mom, and that’s something really valuable. Like so many associates, I am energized by our dynamic, fast-paced environment that values initiative and continuous improvement. To individuals considering joining the LBS team, I’d say: be ready to embrace continuous improvement culture. Routines are overrated. You’ll be encouraged to come up with ideas to make things better.

Interested in a career at Leica Biosystems? View our listings.

1“How Common Is Breast Cancer?: Breast Cancer Statistics.” American Cancer Society, 2020, www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/about/how-common-is-breast-cancer.html. Accessed September 9, 2020.