TAMPA, Fla. – A Florida mom is using her background in business to advocate for cancer patients, including her 9-year-old daughter.
Whether it’s toilet paper, new car purchases, or work-from-home office supplies, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to become accustomed to shortages.
Laura Bray, adjunct business professor at Hillsborough Community College and mother of three, said her mission began when her daughter Abby was diagnosed with leukemia and her critical chemotherapy treatment became unavailable because of a drug shortage.
“My daughter and I went to the hospital for treatment,” she said. “We were told, ‘You know, you can’t have this treatment today, it’s on shortage.’”
Bray started asking questions about the shortage.
“Is it an outage? Is it a shortage? How long is the disruption? What kind of disruption is it?” Bray said.
When her questions to the hospital were met with confusion, Bray began searching for the critical chemotherapy drug on her own.
“With Google and 1-800 numbers, we began, I began, piecing this specific drug supply chain together,” Bray said.
It took a team of people making phone calls but in the end, Bray was able to find her daughter’s medicine and get her the treatment 10 days later.
Her concern surrounding the shortage of life-saving drugs in the United States never left, so she formed the nonprofit “Angels For Change.”
“No patient should hear the words, ‘We don’t have the drug to save you.’ And no doctor should be delivering those words,” Bray said.
Bray hopes to help more patients in Florida and across the country gain access to the medicine they need to fight cancer.
If you or someone you know is facing a drug shortage, contact the team of volunteers at Angels for Change.