On July 30, 2020, the car-sized rover, Perseverance, nicknamed Percy, launched into space to explore Jezero, a crater on Mars. It successfully landed on the “Red Planet” on February 18, 2021.
The name Perseverance was submitted by a high school student who wrote this entry along with the name suggestion:
“Curiosity. InSight. Spirit. Opportunity. If you think about it, all of these names of past Mars rovers are qualities we possess as humans. We are always curious, and seek opportunity. We have the spirit and insight to explore the Moon, Mars, and beyond. But, if rovers are to be the qualities of us as a race, we missed the most important thing. Perseverance. We as humans evolved as creatures who could learn to adapt to any situation, no matter how harsh. We are a species of explorers, and we will meet many setbacks on the way to Mars. However, we can persevere. We, not as a nation but as humans, will not give up. The human race will always persevere into the future.”
Percy has indeed persevered, traveling 300 million miles over the course of nearly seven months to make it to Mars, where it will continue working for at least 700 days.
Perseverance is a critical operating principle for any individual person, business, or nation to achieve its greatest potential. Here are three lessons in perseverance that companies, including GT Medical Technologies, can implement to reach new heights:
- Going the extra mile (or 300 million extra miles): Much like Percy’s long, arduous journey, GT Medical Technologies is fueled by a desire to improve patients’ quality of life by bringing a life-changing brain tumor treatment onto the market. We always go the extra mile so our patients know they’re never alone.
Brain cancer patient Shannan A. experienced the difference between traditional therapy and GammaTile Therapy. After being diagnosed in 2003, she underwent external beam radiation, which she describes as very unpleasant. She was fatigued and her hair fell out in clumps down to the scalp – a very difficult part of her cancer experience. The hair loss was so severe that Shannan jokes her husband would follow her around with a vacuum.
When her tumor recurred, her doctor told her about GammaTile Therapy. Unlike traditional radiation therapy, healthy brain tissue was spared, and she didn’t experience adverse side effects, like hair loss or fatigue. Her story is one of a growing number of patient success stories, proving that the company’s mission of improving the lives of patients with brain tumors is possible.
- Embrace challenges: Previous attempts at brain brachytherapy have had mixed clinical results and 95% of start ups fail to provide a return to their investors and do what they actually set out to do. But we embrace these challenges, and continue to advance our mission to “get a head STaRT in the fight against brain tumors.”
The more we embrace challenges and learn from our mistake, the closer we get to achieving the impossible. Through perseverance, we learn to rely on each other and go easy on ourselves as we strive toward progress and growth – it’s the only way forward.
- Appreciate the journey: As the famous saying goes “Success isn’t built overnight.” In a world that moves so fast and seems to only share its highlight reel, we’ve grown impatient.
We’re hurling forward to improve the lives of those around us, and when success doesn’t come quickly or effortlessly, it’s easy to get frustrated and lose hope. We must forge on with a laser-focused mission.
GammaTile Therapy is a revolution in radiation treatment; however, a solid product will only get us halfway there. The other half depends on our collective tenacity.
In two years, GT Medical Technologies has incorporated GammaTile Therapy into more than 30 brain tumor centers across the country, partnered with five national brain tumor support groups. and improved the lives of many cancer patients. Who knows where we will go next?
One thing we do know is, without perseverance, progress does not happen.