A whirlwind trip and a great opportunity to meet patients, caregivers, advocates, donors, doctors, and many others at Lung Cancer Canada’s Toronto events last month! I’m so grateful that I was able to participate in their fundraiser and first ever Canadian Lung Cancer Patient Summit. I’m very impressed with the good work that Lung Cancer Canada is doing!
The “Evening of Hope”, the Thursday evening fundraiser, was a fun night where I met a variety of interesting people. Woven through the laughter and tears was much hope and joy, and deep appreciation for the people and work of Lung Cancer Canada. I felt very blessed!
If you look below, you’ll get an idea of what kind of day the Patient Summit was on Friday. It was, in its own very small kind of way, a marathon of hope! So many excellent presentations about innovative and exciting advances in the treatment of lung cancer! A lot of good info about how to access and pay for new treatments too!
During lunch, we were honoured to hear from Darrell Fox, Terry Fox’s younger brother. The Terry Fox Foundation has raised over $700 million for cancer research worldwide! We are so grateful for Terry Fox, his family and legacy! What a treat to hear Darrell speak – humbly and powerfully – and then talk more with him later in the afternoon. I am grateful for his encouragement!
There was a beautiful atmosphere of encouragement and sharing at the event, and I appreciated the opportunities to listen to and learn from a variety of people. Many patients have to travel for treatment, and that can be very costly. I heard one oncologist offer a spare room to a patient. Such kindness!
I got to meet Chris Draft, a former NFL linebacker who founded the Chris Draft Family Foundation and serves as a huge advocate on our behalf. You can watch a video he made by clicking: Team Draft – What is the Biggest Cancer Killer? (Spoiler alert: the answer is Lung Cancer) What an encouraging and inspiring person!
Probably my highlight of the two days was to meet this group of special women, listen to their stories, and receive their support and encouragement.
These lung cancer patients / caregivers travelled from the West Coast, the East Coast, and places in between to gather at the Patient Summit. What a gift to connect! Lung cancer isolates. # Hope Unites!
And there is reason for hope!
But there are also a lot of grim statistics. Lung Cancer Canada recently released their 2016 Report, which you can read here: Faces of Lung Cancer Report 2016, if you’re feeling brave.
There’s a picture of me & my kids in the report.
Last month was Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and I learned a bit about advocacy and Twitter through trying to tweet some Lung Cancer facts. I’m @JillHW on Twitter, and you are welcome to follow, though I can’t promise how much I’ll be there in the coming months!
Lung Cancer causes 27% of cancer deaths, yet receives only 1% of personal donations.
I’ve entered Team Draft’s Superbowl Challenge fundraiser, and I would be honoured if you’d consider supporting us by clicking on Hamer-Wilson Hope Team.
I came home from Toronto exhausted and energized! I came home inspired to serve as an advocate for Lung Cancer Patients and our families. I hope I will get many opportunities for many, many years!
Hope is powerful!