Craig Tendler, M.D. is Vice President, Late-Stage Development and Global Medical Affairs for Oncology at Janssen Research & Development, LLC.
In medical school some years back, I realized that I wanted to become a pediatric oncologist. I had always wanted to help children, but the possibility of helping those most in need, who were facing diseases for which there were no cures, fueled my resolve.
My friends, family and peers questioned my decision, worried that the emotional burden would be a challenge. But I knew, even then, there was also hope for euphoria – bringing unsurpassed joy to families by saving a child’s life.
I’m fortunate to have been part of many of those euphoric moments. I remember a child I treated when he was five or six. He had faced an aggressive blood cancer but achieved remission with the help of groundbreaking new treatments. The emotional roller coaster of setbacks was difficult, but happiness and relief prevailed – perhaps never more than when his mother called to tell me, a decade later, that he’d been accepted into his dream college. The potential to have such a profound impact on human lives, and my passion to find better outcomes for all patients, was reaffirmed with each of these special moments.
When I moved into the life sciences industry, I thought I’d be distanced from some of the patient experiences that fueled my passion. Instead, I found colleagues in every part of our organization with a drive that equaled mine. This shared passion for helping people and finding solutions – seeking to experience the fulfillment that comes with transforming patients’ lives – is the cornerstone of our culture at Janssen. Every person on our team, from scientists to professionals, has a personal story that deeply motivates and inspires them. We share that passion because we share a fundamental common link: we’ve all been touched by cancer.
On February 4, when we recognize World Cancer Day, I’m reminded of the important roles we all play in the pursuit of life-changing treatments for people diagnosed with cancer. At Janssen, we continue, every day, to support our shared passion focused on the elimination of cancer. I AM motivated by the progress we’ve made, and I WILL stand proudly beside each member of our team and the world cancer community, to push even further towards delivering cures.