No, not even a migraine could stop me, last December, from submitting my application to the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting Scientist – Survivor Program, which takes place March 30 – April 3, 2019, in Atlanta Georgia! #AACR19 #AACRSSP19
This program intentionally connects scientists with cancer survivors during this big, exciting international cancer research meeting. It may be difficult for some of you to understand why I would be so terribly keen to go, but trust me! I really, really wanted to go and be part of this amazing opportunity to connect with people, learn things and tell my community about them!
The AACR’s website says their Annual Meeting’s program, “covers the latest discoveries across the spectrum of cancer research … and highlights the work of the best minds in research and medicine from institutions all over the world.”
I’d been trying to work on my application, as the days raced towards the December deadline. Busy days, Lung Cancer Awareness Month activities, end-of-year extra’s, concerts, wrapping up details from the November “Living with Lung Cancer: Ottawa’s 1st Patient-Driven Mini Summit”, kids’ activities, special Christmas events, family travel, etc.
Suddenly I was down to the wire with thoughts swirling in my head, so fast I couldn’t write them down. I had answered most of the questions, only a couple left plus the BIG ONE: an abstract for a scientific type of poster that I would actually make and present if I was accepted into the program. (No pressure!)
What made it worse was that my hands weren’t working well. Nerve pain is a side effect of the new drug I’m on. Writing or typing can be very painful.
A dear friend helped by sitting at a coffee shop with me the evening of the deadline, jotting down my words on paper, helping me to compile my myriad of lung cancer ideas and thoughts into one clear concise “sort-of-scientific-sounding” abstract. When it was time to go home I still didn’t have it, and my headache was growing worse. I started to feel terribly sick …
I’m not going to tell you how physically awful I felt that night as I struggled at the computer to get the words together and inputted to the computer so I could submit my application. But I did it!
And here it is, all official, at this link, or you can read it below.
I am so happy to say that I am incredibly honoured to have been accepted into the program! A lot of people didn’t make it. Only 40 of us did.
As I go to this amazing conference, I’m representing those who weren’t accepted and those who didn’t apply. That’s a big responsibility, and I intend to share the things I will learn with as many people as I can.
You’ll be hearing more in days to come, but for now, I’ve got to go work on that poster! 😀
ADV06 / 6 – Informed, inspired, empowered: The new era of lung cancer patients/survivors in Ottawa, Canada
|March 31, 2019, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM||Section 29|
Jill Hamer-Wilson. Independent Advocate, Ottawa, ON, Canada
This poster will discuss many aspects of Living with Lung Cancer. Jill Hamer Wilson’s mission is to raise up a team of lung cancer advocates whose voice cannot be denied and who will influence for change. Caring until there is a Cure through more research will equal more survivors. Initiatives include monthly support meetings for lung cancer patients, regular online support and communication, monthly outreach tables in the cancer centres, annual lung cancer patient summits, regular encouragement, inspiration and spreading of hope which goes beyond ourselves, beyond lung cancer, which breaks down walls that divide us. Constituencies include local lung cancer patients, and focus locally, but also reach to all affected by any kind of cancer, anywhere in the world. Ottawa’s 1st Patient-Driven Mini Summit took place on November 27, 2018. It provided a terrific stimulus to provoke discussion and networking with peers and leaders of interest. The psoter will also explore the experiences of lung cancer patients at the Ottawa Hospita; the journey from scarcity to abundance and the under resourcing to forming a community of hope and providing of resources for others. Examples of collaboration, such as speaking on panels about bench to bedside research and care, clinical trials, and fundraisers will be outlined along with learning and growth opportunities for lung cancer patients/advocates.