Road to Match Day included cancer treatment for med student

Cancer was focus of study during treatment

At UW-Madison’s match day 2017, 169 med students opened envelopes that revealed where they would go to do their residency. For one student, Nailah Cash-O’Bannon, where she is going is important, but so is where she has been.

At the end of her first year of med school, Cash-O’Bannon was diagnosed with breast cancer. She went through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment while continuing her second year of med school.

“It was an interesting experience, simply because when I was diagnosed, that’s when we were studying cancer, and when I was getting medications, that was when I was learning about chemotherapeutic agents,” says Cash-O’Bannon.

While the cancer treatments were physically difficult, Cash-O’Bannon found med school to be a positive distraction.

“I was so focused on it, and it really helped to take my mind off of some of the other things, and I think it also helped me to process what I was going through,” says Cash-O’Bannon.

With the cancer now part of her past, she is focused on the future. When she opened her envelope at Match Day, her future included a family medicine residency at the University of Minnesota”s North Memorial Hospital.