For Me With Me: Recounted in Pictures

Written By Colleen Young

You could feel the energy in the room right from the start. Rob, the master of ceremonies, captured some of the spirit of the day in his blog Zen and the Art of Baking up a Conference. But they say that a picture is worth a 1000 words, so here are a few thousand.

Audrey Friedman at the podium, welcoming participants
Welcoming everyone, Audrey, Associate Director of ELLICSR, talked about how advocacy and engagement have played important roles in her own health and journey with cancer.
Colleen Young and Rob Hawke having a chuckle while introducing the event
Co-hosts Colleen & Rob set the tone for the day with some jokes while outlining the program of the day.
A circle with the words Empower, Inform, Consult, Involve, and Collaborate around the outside
Where do you sit on the engagement continuum? That might depend on your situation, where you are in the cancer journey, and your comfort level. With real time polling, participants voted on where they felt they were on the engagement spectrum.
Jim Sullivan speaking at the podium
With a powerful voice, both in timbre and message, Jim shared how he advocated for his own health: "If I hadn't stood up and advocated for myself, I wouldn't be standing here in front of you right now."
a room full of people, standing with their arms over in the air
Cancer and laughter? You bet! Cancer survivor, author and laughter specialist Rob brought the group together with fun and therapeutic laughter exercises.
the 5 panel members on the stage with some audience members facing them
After lunch, Dr. Alex Jadad led a panel discussion – talk show style – on how patients and caregivers can lead changes to the healthcare system. Panelists included Zena, a cancer voyageur, Anthony, Senior Specialist with the Equity & Community Engagement program at St. Michaels Hospital, Joyce, Chair of the Homelessness Community Advisory panel at St. Michaels Hospital, and Lianne, an engaged patient and committee member of the Canadian Partnership for Quality Radiotherapy.
a man and three women standing at a counter, having coffee
As one participant said, “the 'hallway conversations' – I always find them just as, if not, more impacting as the  'regular' program.
Jill Anzarut speaking at the podium
Her advocacy journey started with just a question and then more and more until she got answers. Jill shared her story of changing how Ontario changed their funding for Herceptin after she was told her breast cancer was  found too early for the government to cover the costs of the treatment.