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“I’ve been working with the Army of Women® (AOW) since 2009. At the time, I had just received a very large federally funded grant to study cognitive decline associated with breast cancer chemotherapy. I needed 200 volunteers, women with a history of breast cancer and women with no significant medical history. In my experience, healthy volunteers were the most difficult to recruit. In the beginning, enrollment was quite slow. Then, one of my participants told me about AOW. After reading about the program, I signed up as a researcher and submitted my study. The process was very efficient and the AOW staff were extremely helpful. The information on the AOW website explains very clearly to potential participants why healthy volunteers are needed in addition to volunteers who have had cancer.

“Once my study was approved by AOW’s Scientific Advisory Committee, an eblast went out to all the AOW volunteers describing my study. Within a few days, I had over 1,200 women sign up and we were only in year one of the project! It was one of the most inspiring moments of my research career. So many women were willing to help us with this project, most of them healthy women who had never even struggled with cancer-related cognitive difficulties but were eager to donate their time to help those who had. Of the volunteers enrolled, 95% completed all study procedures, and this was not a simple study. The study required an hour-long brain MRI and one and a half hours of cognitive tests. For a subset of volunteers, it was even more intense; 12 weeks of almost daily computer work with the MRI scan and cognitive tests both before and after the intervention. AOW made the most difficult part of conducting clinical research the easiest part. I continue to work with the Army of Women and strongly recommend this invaluable resource to other principal investigators.”

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