SWOG, formerly known as the Southwest Oncology Group, is a well-respected National Cancer Institute (NCI) supported organization that conducts and funds clinical trials in many adult cancers. NCI’s National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) is a collection of organizations and clinicians that coordinates and supports cancer clinical trials at more than 2,200 sites across the United States, Canada, and internationally. NCTN provides the infrastructure for NCI-funded treatment and primary advanced imaging trials to improve the lives of people with cancer. NCTN clinical trials help to establish new standards of care, set the stage for approval of new therapies by the Food and Drug Administration, test new treatment approaches, and validate new biomarkers.
To SWOG’s credit they have patient advocates who are involved with an equal voice at all their meetings related to their planned research.
We nominated Bruce Wright to serve as the voice of veterans when relevant research issues were being addressed at the SWOG monthly meetings. Bruce is a longtime member of the CLL Society Patient Advisory Board and one of the original CLL Society Senior Support Group Advisors who helped establish and support several CLL Society Support and Education groups across the country. We also knew he would do double duty, looking out for the concerns of CLL patients as part of his role.
We are proud to announce that Bruce was offered and has accepted this prestigious position and is already progressing through the training process as well as attending the virtual meetings.
Besides his new role with SWOG, Bruce has personally helped over 70 veterans with service-related disabilities obtain the benefits that they have earned and deserve. He has spoken in front of hundreds of doctors and patients in webinars, live programs, and medical educational activities related to his experience as a veteran and CLL patient and advocate, and has been a friend to the CLL Society in particular and the CLL community in general for many years.
Here is Bruce’s SWOG official bio:
Bruce A. Wright is a community advocate representing military veterans and lives in Ladera Ranch, California. Bruce is a retired commander in the U.S. Navy, where he served for more than 20 years. Bruce is a Vietnam War veteran who served three tours of duty, work that exposed him to Agent Orange, which caused his cancers. Bruce worked in military aerospace for 30 years, and has been active with the CLL Society, a non-profit, peer-to-peer support, education and advocacy organization. For nearly 10 years, he has served in several CLL Society roles, including senior support group advisor, overseeing 10 groups across the country, as well as patient educator, patient advisory board member, and veteran advisor, which has allowed him to mentor 70 vets navigating the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Bruce has deep knowledge of the Veterans Benefits Administration, which oversees disability, insurance, and other benefits and the Veterans Health Administration, the largest integrated health care system in the country. Bruce is a survivor of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and prostate cancer.
Please join us in congratulating Bruce and thanking him for taking his advocacy to new levels.
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