Improving Your Cancer Care Experience

Sarah Tupica Beard and Richard Tupica
Sarah Tupica Berard (above with her father) says her father's recurrence has given her a whole new layer of experience to contribute to the Patient and Family Advisory Board.

Photo by Edda Pacifico

An update from a member of the Patient and Family Advisory Board

Last summer, we wrote about Sarah Tupica Berard, who joined the Cancer Center's Patient and Family Advisory Board after her father was treated for a rare cancer in his jaw. She wanted to give back and help other patients and family members have a better care experience.

Q: What has changed since last summer in terms of your dad's health?

My dad recently completed 13 days of radiation treatment for a recurrence on his hip. He's a paramedic and a workaholic, and has decided to take some time off this summer to enjoy himself. My dad taking time for himself is a great thing. We already have barbeques set up.

Q: What is new on the Patient and Family Advisory Board?

We've been busy. I've been working on a chemotherapy information packet that helps patients know what to expect. Also, we've been working on elections and getting new members on the board to help with patient care improvements.

Q: What is on the horizon for your family?

I decided to extend my term on the board for another year. With my father's recurrence, it's such a positive and supportive place to be in the cancer arena. I am having my first child, a girl, in July and didn't want to be flooded with bad feelings during my pregnancy. She is coming at the right time. She will bring a lot of joy to our family. My dad is excited about being a grandpa.

Interested in becoming a member of the Patient and Family Advisory Board?

Learn about the board and how you can participate.

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Thrive Issue: 
Summer, 2014