Compassionate Guidance Through a Cancer Clinical Trial

Metastatic Breast Cancer Heroes™, CURE® Metastatic Breast Cancer Heroes™ 2021 Essay Book, Volume 1,

"Because of his supportive rapport with his patients, his name often has come up in our local support group, resulting in everyone wishing they had 'a Gil,'" a cancer survivor wrote of a clinical trial research nurse.

I AM HONORED TO NOMINATE Gil R. Guerra for the Metastatic Breast Cancer Heroes™ award. Gil is a senior clinical studies coordinator and research trial nurse at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He trains and supervises a cadre of research trial nurses and teaches them how to compassionately care for patients. He is amazing at what he does! He is skilled in palliative care, oncology and cancer research. He does everything possible to help his patients understand clinical trials and how they might benefit from them, answering most questions before they are even asked. He has a gentle way of guiding his patients through the sometimes arduous hoops required by clinical trials and putting them at ease. Gil is always available to smooth out any bumps or problems that arise for his patients. He shares his vast knowledge and educates patients and their caregivers about the ins and outs of the trials in which they participate.

Because of his supportive rapport with his patients, his name often has come up in our local support group, resulting in everyone wishing they had “a Gil.” He is an inspiration and is one of the reasons a group of patients began a grassroots effort to establish the Advanced Breast Cancer Program and Clinic at MD Anderson, so everyone would have a Gil to guide them through their metastatic breast cancer journey. The needs of a patient with metastatic breast cancer are far different from those of an early-stage patient, and those needs continue for the rest of their lives. Treatment never ends. Patients with metastatic breast cancer need someone as dedicated and caring as Gil.

Gil has been my clinical trial nurse and my metastatic breast cancer hero for eight years, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Heroes™ award. My husband and I both consider him a friend and extended member of our family.

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