World Cancer Day: Close The Care Gap
To mark World Cancer Day, which takes place this Friday, Feb 4th, I will be doing a LinkedIn Live chat with Kimberly Richardson, which I think will wake us all up to the terrible inequity in cancer care that shamefully still exists.
This year marks the first year of a new three-year campaign centred on the issue of equity. The campaign theme ‘Close the care gap’ recognises the power of knowledge and challenges assumptions. This first year of the campaign raises awareness about the lack of equity in cancer care and explains the barriers that exist for many people in accessing services and receiving the care they need – and how these barriers potentially reduce a person’s chance of surviving cancer.
Kimberly is a two-time cancer survivor. In 2013 she was diagnosed and treated for a rare form of ovarian cancer called Granulosa Cell Tumor and recently, in 2020, was diagnosed and treated for Triple Positive Breast Cancer.
Kimberly has been active in all forms of advocacy since 2013 with fundraising, speaking to U.S legislators on the importance of funding ovarian cancer research but her passion is in research advocacy and making cancer research easy to understand for patients, caregivers and for those new to advocacy.
She holds committee and taskforce positions as a patient advocate and was recently awarded the Ellen L Stovall Award for Patient Innovation in Cancer Care by the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. Her advocacy has helped to establish a special commission on gynecological cancer in her state of Illinois and she is the Founder of the Black Cancer Collaborative, a nonprofit organization that focuses on the capacity building of black cancer patients and the acknowledgment of these patients in the medical and science environment.
If you care about cancer and you care about inclusive patient advocacy, I urge you to tune in to our conversation. As we chatted earlier this week to prepare for our event, I was both deeply inspired and deeply humbled by what Kimberly said to me.
She opened my eyes to the ways in which I have failed in my own advocacy work to be more inclusive. She also re-ignited in me my own passion for patient advocacy, which, for those of us in this space for a long time, tends to dim from time to time.
I haven’t been this moved or excited to listen to someone in the advocacy world in a long time and I feel sure you will feel the same after you’ve heard Kimberly speak. So be sure to register for a reminder to attend and prepare to be challenged to do more in your advocacy work.