From decorator to doctorate, volunteer Samantha Ogle’s journey in the medical world has been motivated by her passion for helping others.
Originally from Richlands, Virginia, Ogle left home to move to North Carolina at a young age. She was working as a cake decorator when she decided to go to nursing school. From there, she began working at Novant Health and stayed there for 10 years. After that, medical education began calling her, so after going to Wake Forest to work in Cardiothoracic surgery for a year, the cancer center recruited her to do their education.
“I spent 16 years in the oncology center at Wake Forest Baptist Health,” she said. “Everywhere from BMT to quality to education to director of education to regional director of education.”
She moved to an industry job in 2019, where she still works today with Amgen Biotechnology. It was during her time at the cancer center that she first heard about LCI, but there was never enough time to devote to volunteering. Once she moved to industry, however, she found she had more time to pursue her commitment to helping others. While volunteering and working, she climbed her way from an associate’s degree to a terminal doctorate in healthcare administration.
“When I moved to industry, I saw some of the folks that volunteer and their passion for it and the good things that they say about Lung Cancer Initiative,” Ogle said. “I knew that was a good fit for me.”
Apart from her career experience with lung cancer, she also has a personal connection to the disease. About 12 years ago, Ogle lost her mother to lung cancer. Her mother was at a small hospital in Virginia when she was initially diagnosed with pneumonia. Ogle knew she had to bring her mother to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital.
“I never hesitated to bring her to Wake Forest,” she said. “I knew the doctors, and even though they have a strong team, they also were connected all over the state, which is kind of what LCI does. If they have a connection in the area, they are statewide.”
The widespread network of LCI is what drew her to the organization.
“I’m that kind of person that there is no ‘we don’t have an answer,’ we will find an answer,” she said. “You don’t stop looking for answers; you broaden your network. That sturdiness and resilience are what I like to be a part of.”
The Triad LUNGe Forward 5K Run, Walk & Celebration on October 8 will be her first event as a volunteer with Lung Cancer Initiative. The race will be held at Country Park in Greensboro, and proceeds will go to helping lung cancer survivors and their loved ones, as well as funding for lung cancer research.
“In the grand scheme of things, when these folks are going through treatment, they are at the most vulnerable moments of their lives; they need it,” Ogle said. “They need sturdiness and resilience. There is a kindness and understanding and a true willingness to help and improve not only the quality of life for folks with lung cancer but also, those taking care of them.”
To donate, register, volunteer or learn more, go to www.Triad.LUNGeForward.org and follow the Lung Cancer Initiative Facebook page.