A Long Overdue Update

It’s crazy when life gets away from you!! I realized that this blog had been collecting dust since I hadn’t updated in a looong time, so here is an update. I’m warning you now, it is going to be a long one…a lot had gone on in a month.

In the past, I have been privileged to have one of my postings published on a great patient site, Patient Commando. In late August, I was very fortunate to meet founder Zal Press and was thoroughly impressed with his passion for patient engagement, storytelling and advocacy. I hope he was as impressed by me as I was of him and his organization. Patient Commando is a platform for patient engagement and empowerment by sharing stories, through prose, video and art. They are dedicated to “Lifting the veil of silence that so often accompanies the onset of illness.” Contributors come from across the spectrum from health care professionals, authors, and of course patients. In addition to providing a voice for the patient experience, they are committed to helping patients become better informed and better equipped in how to manage their healthcare. I am truly honoured to work with them, and look forward to future collaborations.

Visit Patient Commando at http://patientcommando.com

In the first week of September, I had the unique opportunity to attend the Global Leaders Talk Survivorship event in Montreal as part of the World Cancer Congress thanks to my friends at CancerFightClub. As a CFC blogger, I was offered an opportunity to attend a panel discussion hosted by Doug Ullman (CEO of Livestrong), and consisted of a number of leaders in cancer care and advocacy, including Lance Armstrong and Princess Dina Mired of Jordan. The evening was very inspiring as a number of delegates from UICC and the conference attended the event. It was also great that much of the discussion had to do with issues facing Young Adult survivors, one of our community members even had her question answered (way to go Robin!). Alas, the discussion was over far too quickly, but afterwards, a few of us were fortunate to be at the right place at the right time and were able to meet Lance and Doug. Both of whom are incredibly inspiring and passionate individuals. In addition to all this excitement, I was able to connect with friends from the Ottawa and Montreal area. I am so grateful to Adam and Dawn at CFC, and to CancerFightClub for all that they are doing for the Young Adult community!

Visit CancerFightClub at http://www.cancerfightclub.com

I have also been interviewed for an upcoming feature in Cure magazine. I can’t say too much about it right now and don’t have all the details on when it will be published, but when I do, you’ll know too. It’s pretty bizarre having photo shoots at my house, but this is where life is taking me.

Just today, I had a Video posted to http://www.facebook.com/IsMyCancerDifferent (Check it out). As a Founding blogger, I was asked to help IsMyCancerDifferent celebrate their one year anniversary by sharing my story on how targeted treatment is working for me. Naturally, I was honoured to help promote and celebrate this incredible site. I honestly don’t think I’d be here if I didn’t push for treatment and take an active role in seeking out options for myself. Thanks to advancements in genetic analysis, research into targeted treatments, and organizations like IsMyCancerDifferent, patients like me are benefiting and thriving. As if that wasn’t amazing enough, they featured our organization on the site too, how awesome!! Thank you so much and Happy One Year Anniversary, here is to many more!!

Phew, I think that’s about it! Next week, I’ll be taking part in a First Descents Surf Camp; I’m super stoked, so I imagine the next post will be about the hijinks that ensue. Until then, keep well!!

Thanks for reading!


Cover Photo


Cancer in young adults (18-39 yrs) often necessitates aggressive treatments with debilitating side effects such as infertility and chronic disability. Despite compromising 10% of all new cancer diagnoses across Canada (approximately 7,500) these young adults remain isolated, vulnerable and poorly served.

Hope & Cope, Cedars CanSupport and VOBOC (Venturing out Beyond our Cancer) have taken the lead in offering exceptional support here in Montreal through quarterly retreats, exercise activity evenings at the JGH Hope & Cope Wellness Centre / Lou’s House, support groups at the Royal Victoria hospital, social outings and more. When asked to identify their biggest challenges, young adults clearly identified isolation, lack of information and access to resources as barriers to receiving the support they require.

Based on these results, Hope & Cope has been developing an innovative, interactive website called www.cancerfightclub.com. This site provides a comprehensive database with medical, legal, financial, psychological and life management resources, a Professional Q&A portal, and a virtual support community (private member messaging, blog, forum, and an event calendar).

CancerFightClub will be launched officially at a special event on May 5th, 2012. Please come out and show these young adults that they can, indeed, “Fight the Fright” that comes with a cancer diagnosis. By supporting CancerFightClub, you will help ensure that young adults here in Montreal and throughout Canada can access the resources that will help them navigate their way through the storm of cancer.


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