For the past 25 years, Suzanne Badavas, BSN, RN, has been caring for oncology patients at the Brigham.
“I love working with this patient population,” said Suzanne, who currently works on Braunwald Tower 7D, a hematology/oncology/bone marrow transplant unit. “I’ve found that I can really make a difference in their day, whether it’s by helping them navigate the medical system, providing relief from pain or nausea or advocating for their needs. Oncology patients are very special.”
Suzanne’s love for her profession and passion for caring for oncology patients have also made a difference in the life of her daughter, Cambrie. Cambrie grew up hearing Suzanne talking about her work and witnessed her care for a family friend who had cancer.
“I knew from a young age that I would be a nurse,” Cambrie said. “Helping to advocate for patients is something I always wanted to do.”
On Saturday, May 7, Cambrie graduated from Plymouth State University with a nursing degree and is one step closer to achieving her dream. Suzanne had the honor of pinning Cambrie during the university’s pinning ceremony, which celebrates the transition from student to nurse.
It was a special moment for both mother and daughter — and the culmination of many moments they spent together while Cambrie was in school.
“When the pandemic began, it was my sophomore year, and I had to stay home sophomore and junior year,” said Cambrie. “I had my mom to talk to, and she was a great person to get me through those hard challenges.”
Suzanne supported Cambrie as she was participating in classes online. “I was able to help her practice how to give a physical exam, listen to breathing, check for edema and other clinical things,” she said. “I was worried she wasn’t going to get all the education she needed, and it was a positive thing for me to be able to help her. We were so happy when she was able to go back to school this year for clinical rotations.”
This year, Cambrie also worked as a patient care associate on Tower 7 units at the Brigham during school breaks, sometimes on Tower 7D with Suzanne.
Although school was more challenging during the pandemic, Cambrie felt even more inspired and driven to complete her degree and become a nurse. “It was really hard to see all of the articles about nurses getting burnt out, but it made me want to finish school and start helping,” she said. “Nurses need each other’s help. I wanted to keep going and do the best I could.”
Cambrie is hopeful she will land a job at the Brigham and eventually work in an oncology unit, like her mother.
“I am so proud of her,” said Suzanne. “It means so much to me to see her graduating with a nursing degree. I’m so excited for her future. I love the profession of nursing, and I’m so happy she chose nursing, too.”