Johns Hopkins Medicine
The Robert G. Fenley Writing Awards: Solicited Articles - Silver
“Timely Preservation” is a feature-length article that appeared in the Winter 2022 issue of Hopkins Medicine magazine, which is mailed to 35,000 alumni, faculty, and friends of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The article’s aim was to highlight clinical offerings of the new Hopkins Fertility Preservation Innovation Center and to humanize the narrative by weaving in the experience of a patient who directly benefited from the care provided by clinicians at the center and from other collaborating specialties.
What was the most impactful part of your entry?
The experience of the patient who is featured in the story really brings the narrative to life. Alexandra Piselli was diagnosed with adrenal cancer as a third-year medical student and risked losing her future ability to have children due to the aggressive cancer treatment she would need to undergo. Fortunately, as writer Lacey Ann Johnson relates so compellingly in the story, the Hopkins clinicians associated with the Hopkins Fertility Center ultimately helped Piselli preserve her childbearing potential, even as her Hopkins oncologists preserved her life.
What is one thing you learned from your entry/experience?
As an editor, it’s critical to plan far in advance and give writers the time they need to fully report a story like this one and to allow enough time for the featured patient’s experience to play out. In addition, the choice of which patient to feature is crucial; in this case, the power of the narrative rested almost entirely on Alexandra Piselli’s willingness to be candid and articulate in sharing her arduous medical journey.