Enrich your ClinOps career through volunteering

Clinops toolkit volunteers at camp okizu

A Weekend to Remember and a Tradition in the Works

In April, I drove up to Butte County, a 3.5 hour drive to the picturesque location of Camp Okizu, a childhood cancer camp for families. I spent the weekend with another 30+ individuals all committed to preparing the camp for the upcoming Onc Weekend.

The mission of Camp Okizu is to provide peer support, respite, mentoring, and recreational programs to meet the needs of all members of families affected by childhood cancer.  For 35 years, Okizu has been committed to the continuing support of the Oncology, Siblings, Family, Bereavement, and Teens-N-Twenties programs. These programs are the result of a collaborative effort between Okizu and the pediatric oncology treatment centers in Northern California.

How did I find out about Camp Okizu?

Believe it or not, on an airplane coming back from two Site Initiation Visits to activate a clinical trial site on the East Coast for an oncology study.

The man sitting next to me asked why I was traveling and I shared with him about Immune Design, our clinical studies, and our goal to cure cancer.  He shared with me about Camp Okizu and the volunteer weekends in the Spring and Fall.

Clinops supports oncology clinical trials

What type of volunteering activities were available?

There are a variety of tasks available and people can sign up for the ones that appeal to them. There are usually some cleaning and sorting activities in the main camp buildings, and outside jobs including trail work, painting and staining, small construction or repair projects, planting and landscaping work, cutting and chipping brush and small trees and what ending up my favorite, raking and clearing pine needles.

Talk about a work out!

He ultimately put me in contact with Dr. Michael D. Amylon, Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics (Hematology/Oncology/Stem Cell Transplantation) at Stanford who cofounded the camp with John Bell, Retired President of Golden Bear Travel.

Clinops toolkit volunteers at camp okizu

Volunteering feels great!

Two months later, there I am raking pine needles, having a truly remarkable time in one of the most gorgeous locations in California and having the full on camp experience; knowing that the following weekend up to 120 children would be doing the same.

You never know when you might come across an opportunity. I’m proud to share our work at Immune Design and I’m excited for future opportunities to bring teams together through social capital and to focus on giving back.

Who will join in?

More Information Here


About The Author

Jennifer Brandl

Jennifer is a tireless evangelist for curing cancer and an extraordinary volunteer at ClinOps Toolkit. Ms. Brandl is a UW Madison Biology and Genetics graduate and completed a Certificate Program in Clinical Research Conduct and Management at UC Berkeley Extension. A driven leader, she is prized for ability to organize and research topics important to our community. Jennifer's interests include the GreenBay Packers, networking, and science. #Labs2Ops


  • Lina

    September 29, 2016

    fantastic, very informative. I wonder why other specialists of the sector don’t realize this. You must continue your writing. I am just confident, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  • Mark Bushong

    September 16, 2016

    Great story. Another example of doing well by doing good.

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