Canadian Cancer Society/CIHR cancer surviorship grants review panel

Honoured to be a part of the Canadian Cancer Society/CIHR's review panel for their cancer survivorship grants as a pediatric cancer survivor and advocate. Two main things stand out to me from the experienc - big charities are finally funding cancer survivorship research with significant $ and patients/survivors are starting to be included in every part of the research process.

Grateful to be a part of this movement for positive change!

International Psycho-oncology Society Annual Conference, Banff Alberta. September 2019

I was lucky to be awarded one of five patient/survivor scholarships to attend the International Psycho-oncology Society (IPOS) annual conference co-hosted by the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology. It was wonderful to see the work that is going on to support cancer patients and caregivers during and after their treatment. Also great to meet the other patient/survivor advocates including Jill Hamer-Wilson (pictured), a very passionate and inspiring lung cancer survivor advocate. So many ideas for new advocacy projects and collaborations!

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The Banff centre for the arts. Conference location for IPOS/CAPO

The Banff centre for the arts. Conference location for IPOS/CAPO

TEDx Oronoco Bay Park, Alexandria, VA. Saturday 5th October.

I was privileged to coach two fantastic speakers for their TEDx talks for the inaugural TEDx Oronoco Bay Park in Alexandria, Virginia.

Dr Hilary Stires is a trained breast cancer research scientist and now works in healthcare policy. She is passionate about patient advocacy and connecting researchers and patient/survivor advocates. Her TEDx talk focused on these topics, as well as some personal stories and inspiration.

Prof Michael Kramp is a lecturer and researcher specializing in 19th century British literature and critical theory at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. Michael’s talk focused on the epidemic of toxic masculinity and possible solutions to this.

Another highlight was the first talk from Dr Catherine Young, a friend and TED fellow family member who talked about information processing, neuroscience and fact-checking to create an insightful TEDx talk! The third picture shows both of us and Dr Kaitlyn Sadtler, another of the speaker coaches whose mentees did a fantastic job also!

All of them delivered thought-provoking and inspiring talks and I will update this post with links to all of their fantastic talks as soon as they are live.

#AtlanticCancer Event, Washington DC 22nd May. Video now available.

It was an absolute pleasure to be a panelist at #AtlanticCancer on childhood cancer survivorship in Washington DC on Wednesday this week with Brittany Avin, teenage thyroid cancer survivor and now PhD student at Johns Hopkins University and Dr Otis Brawley, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins and former CMO of the American Cancer Society. Some really important discussions, including whether healthcare systems are ready for the number of childhood cancer survivors and their needs and what needs to be improved to better provide for survivors and their families. I highly recommend watching the entire event, but the direct link to the panel I was on is here

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The Atlantic - Children and Cancer event, Washington DC, 22nd May 2019.

I’m delighted to have been invited to be a panelist at The Atlantic’s Children and Cancer event, to be held in Washington DC on the morning of 22nd May. The topic of discussion will be ‘Pediatric cancers are treatable, but how do they affect children as they grow up?’ More information about the event can be found here and you can follow the discussion on the livestream on the website during the event or by using the event tag #AtlanticCancer.

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Guest Lecture at Let's Talk Cancer - McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.

Wonderful to be invited to the excellent McMaster University to give the keynote lecture at their Let’s Talk Cancer event. Nearly 100 high schoolers from the Hamilton area had a day of lab visits, talks and demos, learning about cancer research from scientists at McMaster. Some wonderful questions and discussions instigated by the new generation of cancer researchers!

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Introducing Cancer Survivor Social Media

Cancer survivor social media is a new scheme run by volunteers including cancer survivors, healthcare professionals and researchers looking into the long-term effects of cancer treatment. The co-founders are myself and Professor Jennifer Jones from Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto.

More people are surviving cancer than ever before and we firmly believe that the best way to shape what the future looks like for those who have had cancer is for everyone involved to work together to figure out what is important and what our focus should be.

Central to our scheme will be a short live presentation hosted by a person involved in survivorship research, healthcare or advocacy, followed by a tweet-chat facilitated by our presenter.

Our first #CSSMchat will be on Wednesday 24th April. Please do head over to our Twitter page for more details.

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Lecturing at Ryerson University

It was a pleasure to be invited to guest lecture to 3rd year Biomedical Science undergraduates at Ryerson University in downtown Toronto last Friday. I did one session on stem cell and organoid models for cancer research and another on responsible and impactful health journalism.

Photo credit: Lakshmi Menon

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Introducing Childhood Cancer Survivor Canada

I’m really happy to be involved in ‘Childhood Cancer Survivor Canada,’ a new non-profit dedicated to facilitating education, awareness, community and access to care, for survivors of childhood cancer in Canada. I’m on the board as the VP for social media outreach.

The website will be launched soon, but for now you can follow us on Twitter @childcancersurv

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Happy New Year - bring on 2019!

Happy New Year and a big thanks to everyone who contributed to an amazing 2018 by reading my articles and giving excellent feedback and advice.

2018 was my first full year writing as a contributor for Forbes Health, so here is a round-up!

In 2018:
I wrote 49 articles. 
My articles had 488,176 views.
My most popular article had 131,478 views.
19,787 people read more than one of my articles.
My articles were shared 19,075 times (Facebook), 3,950 times (Twitter) and 2,241 times (LinkedIn).

I know 2019 is going to be a very busy year for cancer research, so I did a round-up of which topics I think will be making the news in the upcoming year. Definitely not an exhaustive list, but I’m looking forward to a busy and exciting year of science writing.

Five Things To Look Out For In Cancer Research In 2019