S FL SPOTLIGHT: Jamie Lober, Lauded Leader in the fight against Cancer

Written by Starla M. Brown on . Posted in Health/Fitness

Those who went to Indiana University with Jamie Lober know her as a fun, loyal, ambitious and driven girl.  Years later she maintains the same passion, energy and integrity as men and women of all ages have found her to be supremely qualified to serve as a champion for progress in the fight against cancer.


Jamie has taken the time to sit down with The Patriot Press and share some insight about her journey and what the future may hold.


TPP:  Tell us about your time at Indiana University.


JL:  [Prior to getting a master’s in health psychology], I completed undergrad in 2007 and my years on the campus were some of the most formative of my life.  I developed a love for Spanish language, music and culture which stays with me today, a passion for women’s health and a true love for politics.  The campus was beautiful and I was well-served by the fact that they had outstanding partnerships with the city and state communities in the areas of economic, cultural and social development which lent to great opportunities to lead.


TPP:  You ran for mayor at age 21.  Have you changed since then and who are some of your political mentors?


JL:  I learned to never give up and never give in and have only become stronger and more principled since then.  Congressman Dan Burton is one of the wisest, supportive and motivational people I have met and Congressman Dennis Kucinich is inspiring and has so much to teach.  Kucinich told me to never fear defeat and to take strong positions, putting the truth first and staying committed to causes I believe in.  He said it is important to put a defeat into perspective when you think of those who have suffered real loss like jobs, healthcare coverage, retirement security or investments and having been elected to Congress on his fifth try, I see that good things may be worth the extra effort and disappointment.  I also deeply admire Congressman Mike Pence for unwaveringly carrying the conservative banner and he too has a wonderful story.


TPP:  Will you run for office again in the future?


JL:  I undoubtedly will run again and McCain’s words when he accepted the nomination in 2008 propel me to do the work I do everyday, as he said, “If you find faults with our country, make it a better one.”


TPP:  You are the author of Get Pink Power: We Girls Can Do Anything!  What is that about?


JL:  It is about self-discovery, self-improvement and self-empowerment.  I have addressed issues that plague girls of all ages: being comfortable with yourself, finding peers who raise you up, not caring what others think of you, earning the respect of others, becoming tolerant, getting things done without feeling discouraged, standing up for your rights, making healthy choices, taking chances and making yourself number one.  It is once you overcome these struggles that you will find that we girls cando anything!  I wrote about what I call the Girls’ Bill of Rights.  Each of the ten rights has a corresponding chapter filled with wisdom, emotion and personal experiences.


TPP:  You are now a public relations chairman for the American Cancer Society in South Palm Beach County.  How does that feel?


JL:  Given that no single nongovernmental, not-for-profit organization in the United States has invested more to find the causes and cures for cancer, I am lucky to get to talk all about it.  I also get a chance to talk to others about staying healthy, finding support and treatment and promote our upcoming Hope Gala everyday which will take place on Saturday, March 9, 2013.  As we are celebrating our 100th anniversary and giving proceeds to R.O.C.K. (Reaching Out to Cancer Kids) Camp, this is an extra special year.


TPP:  You have spent the majority of the past year heightening awareness on rare disease, particularly paraganglioma.  Why is this important?


JL:  The worst part is that when disease is rare, research is often limited and many people go undiagnosed.  Having a loved one with paraganglioma, I feel a dire need to get the word out about the signs and make sure the medical community is hard at work to improve those patients’ quality of life and create effective treatments.  I have been most fortunate to encounter Dr. Karel Pacak at the National Institutes of Health who is an international expert, amazing innovator coming up with new biochemical and imaging approaches for localizing paraganglioma tumors and is the most compassionate and brightest man to treat the disease.


TPP:  You took the torch to make progress in the fight against cancer all the way to Washington, D.C.  Explain.


JL:  I have advocated for more education, funding, research, treatment and patient services for rare cancer and have presented my case before some of the finest medical institutions and legislators who have been so empathetic and interested in taking a stand.  Rare disease has particularly come to the forefront now that Kate Middleton has been hospitalized with hyperemesis gravidarum, a rare disorder known for severe nausea during pregnancy that does not go away.  I have found that socially, financially and politically people want to support the necessary research for therapies and they do not want to neglect these patients.


TPP:  You have accomplished a lot this past year.  How would you describe the year to someone?


JL:  It was a year of challenges and heartbreak.  My father faced multiple health scares and we as a family pulled through and came out stronger.  I also separated from my ex-boyfriend who I really loved because he believed in me but unfortunately did not always believe in himself.  It was also a year of significant achievement on many levels and for that I am most proud.


TPP:  How would you describe your interests and what you are like as a person?


JL:  I see myself as a typical young adult.  I love spending time with friends and family, swimming and playing the piano.  I cannot get enough of The Weekend’s “Wicked Games” song and am a huge Lil Wayne fan.  I love seeing live music, reading a good book and learning new things.  A lot of people think I have big dreams but I just have plans and I enjoy working each day to make things happen.

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