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story.lead_photo.caption Lauren Brumley, a 2015 graduate of Parkers Chapel High School and former All-Star basketball and tennis player, is making a personal connection with the cancer patients she treats. She’ll complete her education in radiologic technology at CARTI Cancer Institute in Little Rock after this year then plans to begin practicing in Ruston, La.

Lauren Brumley’s career path has taken her from Parkers Chapel to Ruston to Monroe and now on to Little Rock. A recent graduate of the University of Louisiana-Monroe with a Bachelor’s degree in Radiologic Technology, Brumley is pursuing a career as a radiation therapist. She will be attending CARTI Cancer Institute in Little Rock beginning in August to begin her clinical rotations.

After graduating from Parkers Chapel in 2015, she began her college education at Louisiana Tech.

“I went to Louisiana Tech for three years while studying Biology. During these three years, I still didn’t know what I wanted to do in the medical field, whether it was going to medical school, PA (physician’s assistant) school, or PT (physical therapy) school,” Brumley explained. “I just didn’t know.”

While at LA Tech, Brumley said she job shadowed a variety of medical professionals.

“Throughout my life, cancer has loomed large. Looking back, it is evident that cancer shaped a large part of me. Realizing this, I decided that I was going to job shadow the radiation therapists that treated and helped my family and me so much during the hard battle of cancer,” said Brumley, who did a job shadow with the therapists at Artesian Cancer Institute in El Dorado.

“The interactions with the therapist presented me with the knowledge, understanding, challenges, and opportunities of a radiation therapist professional. Most importantly, I discovered the value of leadership in medicine and the need to show commitment to practice,” she said. “I learned so much from not only the therapists but also from the patients.”

Brumley accepted an opportunity to continue working for Artesian Cancer Institute, where she bonded with the patients and families on a professional level. She said she was able to establish a personal relationship with each of them. She described this experience as rewarding.

“I consider myself a very positive and compassionate person and looking forward, I can picture myself as a radiation therapist, creating these special relationships on a day to day basis,” she said.

The issue for Brumley was LA Tech does not offer that specific major. The University of Louisiana at Monroe, however, provides a solid foundation for radiologic technology, presenting an opportunity to learn different modalities of imaging.

Brumley started the Radiologic Technology program in the fall of 2018.

“The education and knowledge I have gained during my two years in the ULM Radiologic Technology Program have been insightful, preparing me for a rewarding career,” she said. “As part of the Radiologic Technology Program, I was able to have a radiation therapy rotation and have more of an opportunity to ‘be the therapist’ and see more of their role. During my time in the program, I served as president of the ULM Student Radiologic Technology Association. This position allowed me to build my team and leadership skills while performing community service events and fundraisers with the program.”

Brumley, an All-State basketball and tennis athlete in high school, accrued similar success as a college student. She recently was selected as the Radiologic Technologist Student of the Year at ULM.

“I found out this past week they selected me for the award, and I could not be more thankful for the people that chose me for such a prestigious honor,” said Brumley. “I will be forever grateful for the Radiologic department at ULM and what all it has given me over the past two years.”

Brumley’s next move is back to Arkansas for 10 months to begin the program at CARTI. After that, she said she’d like to move back to Ruston to begin her career.

“I love the Ruston area, having spent the last five years of my life in Ruston,” she said. “It is close enough to home to see everyone, but far enough for me to be independent.”

For Brumley, her career choice isn’t just about a job. She said it’s personal and something she’s passionate about.

“I always knew I wanted to be in the medical field, but I didn’t know what I was being called to do,” she said. “When my ‘Meme’ was diagnosed with cancer, I went to her chemo and radiation therapy treatments with her. It was at that moment I knew radiation therapy is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. Anyone that has gone through a difficult medical journey with a loved one can remember a medical professional that they leaned on, believed in, and who made the journey just a little lighter. I want to be that person for families.”

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