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.
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.
Co-hosts Colleen & Rob set the tone for the day with some jokes while outlining the program of the day.
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.
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."
Cancer and laughter
? You bet! Cancer survivor, author and laughter specialist Rob brought the group together
with fun and therapeutic laughter exercises.
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.
As one participant said, “the 'hallway conversations' – I always find them just as, if not, more impacting as the
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.