In Their Own Words: Maggie Bowden
The V Foundation for Cancer Research is successful thanks to the contributions of many – donors, corporate partners, our incredible Board and Scientific Advisory Committee and the amazing researchers to whom we award grants. With “In Their Own Words,” we sit down with key members of our team to learn more about their commitment to the V Foundation and their personal desire to put an end to cancer. In this edition, we chat with Maggie Bowden of Anthem Foundation. This year, Anthem sponsored the Billie Jean King Youth Leadership Award in support of the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund. The award celebrates the legendary sports icon’s commitment to leadership and service, and honors high school and college-aged studetns who, like Billie Jean King, use sports to improve their communities.
The V Foundation: How has cancer affected you personally?
Maggie Bowden: “Your daughter has cancer.” Hearing these words is every parent’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately, it’s one that came true for my family. In September of 2015, my four year-old daughter was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma, a rare, but treatable, form of eye cancer. This news rocked our family. Our youngest child would face the toughest fight of her life. The following six months were filled with various forms of intra-arterial chemotherapy and cryotherapy treatments, countless rounds of anesthesia and hundreds of eye drops. We are so thankful for her team of doctors who worked tirelessly to save her life. In August, she will celebrate her 8th birthday and her 3rd third anniversary of being cancer-free.
TVF: Why do you think it’s so important to support cancer research and organizations like the V Foundation?
MB: More than 175,000 children worldwide are diagnosed with cancer each year. Research organizations are critical to finding cures and funding innovative treatments for children and adults living with cancer. The treatment my daughter received was a direct result of research funding and, ultimately, saved her life. I am proud to work for a company that supports and believes in the incredible work of the V Foundation. Without research, we will not find a cure.
TVF: Anthem is supporting the 2019 Sports Humanitarian Awards, which celebrate athletes who use their platform to do good. Why is celebrating these off-the-field achievements so important to you?
MB: Athletes are incredible role models for so many in our communities. While we celebrate their successes in their sport, knowing and seeing that they give back in ways beyond their athletic achievements is such an important example for each one of us. I love the Winston Churchill quote, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Athletes who use their platform to do good is a perfect example of this quote coming to life. At Anthem, we’re doing our part through the Anthem Health Champions program to elevate the outstanding impact athletes make in the community.
TVF: What would Victory Over Cancer® mean to you?
MB: Victory Over Cancer would mean a world where children don’t know the words chemotherapy, radiation, anesthesia, and pain. Families don’t have to spend countless hours in hospital waiting rooms worrying about their child. Adults don’t have to suffer from lengthy treatments and face a disease without a cure. Victory Over Cancer would mean my daughter could live a life with the ability to see out of both eyes and not know what it means to have had cancer. I’m thankful for the research that has already been funded and the incredible progress that has been made, but there’s more work to do. Thank you to the V Foundation and all the cancer research organizations who are committed to fighting the most important fight of all.