Advanced Breast Cancer 7th International Consensus Conference (ABC7) Poster Walkthroughs
Friday, Nov 10
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm local Lisbon, Portugal time
Mentor: Janice Cowden, R.N.
Janice was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic triple-negative breast cancer in 2016, a recurrence from Stage I TNBC nearly 5 years prior. An exceptional responder to her first line of treatment, Janice is extremely fortunate to have had no evidence of disease (NED) since November 2016. With a 20+ year background in Nursing, science, research and studying diseases have always been of interest. Nine months following her MBC diagnosis, Janice launched into MBC Patient Advocacy by participating in training through Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s (LBBC) Hear My Voice Advocacy Outreach program in 2017. As a Research Advocate, Janice attends multiple scientific breast cancer conferences annually to learn more about MBC research and disease. She has a strong interest in partnering with Scientists, Researchers, and Clinicians to work towards more effective treatment modalities that enable MBC patients to live longer and provide a better quality of life. In 2019, she completed NBCC’s Project LEAD. Predominantly, Janice’s advocacy interests include MBC education, awareness, & research, legislative/policy, as well as Peer-to-Peer support. She is a trained Peer Support Volunteer Leader for METAvivor Research & Support and serves as a Peer mentor for LBBC’s volunteer Helpline, as well as for ABCD. Janice is involved in several patient-led advocacy groups, including GRASP, the Patient Centered Dosing Initiative (PCDI), ACE Collaborative Group, the Love Research Army Scientific Advisory Committee, and is the founder and Administrator of The Newly Diagnosed MBC Facebook Peer Support group. She considers herself a lifelong learner and enjoys educating others. In her spare time, Janice enjoys reading, swimming, and spending time with her family, including three grandchildren.
Mentor: Katie Edick
Katie Edick has been living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) since 2016. She has been a pediatric occupational therapist for 21 years.
Katie has volunteered with Little Pink Houses of Hope leading yearly retreats for families going through breast cancer. She provides mentoring to other MBC patients through Imerman Angels. Katie is engaging more with patient advocacy through sharing her story on local news programs, senate hearing committees, and podcasts to help educate and advocate for legislation and research to support families going through a breast cancer diagnosis. Currently, she is the social media coordinator for the Michigan Breast Cancer Coalition. She sits on two different workgroup committees in Michigan’s Department of Health & Human Services for young women with breast cancer; the advisory committee and the metastatic breast cancer committee. She attended the NBCC Advocate Leadership Summit and engaged with local legislators during that campaign, and has attended the annual Metastatic Breast Cancer Research Conference for three years. Check out her blog at terminallyjoyful.com.
Mentor: Christine Hodgdon, M.S.
Christine Hodgdon was a conservation biologist before her metastatic breast cancer (MBC) diagnosis in April 2015. Her advocacy career began when she launched TheStormRiders.org, an educational resource for MBC patients that includes a searchable clinical trial database. She later co-founded GRASP – Guiding Researchers & Advocates to Scientific Partnerships which empowers patients, clinicians, and researchers to exchange ideas and learn from each other. She is the research working group co-lead of the MBC Alliance and spearheads the Breast Cancer Brain Metastasis (BCBM) Initiative: Marina Kaplan Project with the goal to address the unmet research needs of breast cancer patients living with central nervous system (CNS) metastasis. She was also a founding committee member of MBCBrainMets.org, a resource hub for breast cancer patients living with brain metastasis. She is the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center patient advocate representative for the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC) and she co-leads the Hopkins INSPIRE (Influencing Science through Patient-Informed Research & Education) Advocacy Program. Her advocacy work is inspired and driven by the loss of many friends to MBC.
Mentor: Ginny Mason, R.N.
Ginny Mason is a nurse who was diagnosed with stage 3C inflammatory breast cancer 25 years ago. Her diagnosis of a less common and very aggressive breast cancer led her down an over 20-year career path in patient advocacy. She has been with the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation since its inception in 1999 and currently serves as the executive director.
Ginny works in a variety of capacities as a board member, advisor, mentor, grant reviewer and medical consultant for a variety of organizations, including ASCO, the Department of Defense, the American Association of Cancer Research, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Komen Advocates in Science, and various other advisory/consultant roles with other organizations.
Ginny is a graduate of the Project Lead Institute and serves as a member of the breast committee of the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG), the Indiana University representative for the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC), and the Breast Cancer Brain Metastasis Initiative: Marina Kaplan Project of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance.
Mentor: Julia Maués
Julia Maués was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 while pregnant. Following the birth of a healthy baby boy, Julia did tests she couldn’t do while pregnant and discovered the cancer had spread to her brain, liver, and bones. After many treatment setbacks, her cancer began to respond to treatment. Cancer is part of Julia’s life, but it doesn’t define her. Her goal is to make an impact while she is alive in the lives of others dealing with this disease. She has found meaning and purpose in working with patients and researchers to make cancer research more patient-centered, innovative, and inclusive.
Mentor: Kelly Shanahan, M.D.
In 2008, Kelly Shanahan had everything going for her: a busy and successful ob-gyn practice; a precocious 9-year- old daughter; and a well used passport from traveling all over the world with her family to attend conferences, with a liberal dose of vacation on the side. When she was diagnosed with stage IIB breast cancer in April, she considered it a mere bump in the road.
And for five years, breast cancer was an aside, something to put in the past medical history section of forms. Even when she developed sudden back pain, Kelly never thought it could be breast cancer rearing its ugly head – a pulled muscle, a herniated disc maybe, but not what it turned out to be: metastatic breast cancer in virtually every bone in her body, with a fractured vertebrae and an about to break left femur. Kelly was diagnosed on her 53rd birthday.
Neuropathy from the chemo did cost her her career, but she has found a new purpose in advocacy. Kelly is on the board of METAvivor, a member of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance, a Komen Advocate in Science, a grant reviewer, and research advocate. Kelly Shanahan is a mother, a wife, a daughter, a doctor, a woman LIVING with metastatic breast cancer.