A summer with CURE

When Jon Garinn, the managing editor of CURE, had asked me why I was interested in the health industry, I wasn't sure what to say. I was sitting in the conference room with him and another editor, with two additional editors on a conference call. This was my interview.I wasn't sure what to say. Except for that my dad is a physician and he hoped that I would be one myself one day. I even went to a school well-known for its pre-med program (I was not a science major). At that point I was pretty sure I lost my chance at this internship. Yet somehow it worked out and as I conclude my internship here at CURE, I can say that I am confidently able to move forward with my career in journalism. And I would not have obtained this sense of confidence without my experience here at CURE.With no science background, I had taken a plunge into the world of cancer. All of a sudden I had to learn how to distinguish between generic and brand names of drugs (this made dinner fun with dad), and I had to research whether chickpeas are a soy-based food, because they may contain potential cancer-fighting properties.The fact-checking process proved to be suffocating at times, yet Jon was kind enough to guide me along. It is the investigation process of journalism and is especially important in topics dealing with someone's well-being. Jon always reminded me that CURE magazine is advocacy journalism, meaning they keep the reader informed on everything cancer--from new drugs passed by the FDA to studies showing chocolate potentially prevented colon cancer. And they achieve this through story telling. Simply put, cancer is not easy to understand. The world of cancer is convoluted and overwhelming. CURE's goal is to make it less so, and more human and tolerable. It puts the humanity in science. With my final year of graduate school about to start, I can't help but wonder where I will eventually land. There will be different roads I will come across, and I'm fortunate to have had a chance with CURE. It's a house full of passionate people who are deeply committed to their readers, and I will miss them very much!Sahar Mehdi, a journalism graduate student at the University of North Texas, is a summer editorial intern with CURE.