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April Fritz: In Memoriam
April Fritz

I met April Fritz in the early 80s – she was helping registrars understand complex topics even then. For me, it happened to be that she was helping me learn a new cancer registry software that was a huge shift from the manual way I was used to doing my work. We hit it off that day and began a professional and personal relationship that would last 30+ years.

When April announced her recent battle with cancer, it was no surprise to me that she turned it into a learning opportunity for others. She was a life learner who dedicated her career to mentoring cancer registrars and doing whatever she could to advance the cancer registry profession. So if cancer was going to touch her personally, she would use it to teach a conference full of registrars how to code her particular case properly. Even in the doctor’s office she wore her registrar’s hat. Making sure she voiced her opinion and used her years of experience to weigh in on decisions regarding her treatment.

At CHAMPS, we were lucky enough to benefit from April Fritz’s expertise and passion. Most recently, she educated our entire team of cancer registry specialists from all over the country during an oncology retreat here in Cleveland. And before that, she was the highlight of several TNM Coding education sessions our team attended. She even led a boot camp to personally train seven of our top registrars.

April Fritz was a vivacious, bright, generous member of our cancer registry community. She left an indelible imprint on myself and, I think it’s safe to say, everyone she met in our community. Thirty-plus years was certainly not enough time to know her, but I am grateful for every moment we had together.

To honor her legacy and carry on her spirit of mentorship, I plan to slow down today and be more intentional about sharing my knowledge with the newest members of the cancer registry profession. Will you join me in this tribute to April Fritz?

Visit April's professional website for more information on her life and legacy.

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