Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


What’s Up Catch Up (October 2013)

October 24, 2013

As Summer slips into the feistier days of Fall, I wanted to write this What’s Up Catchup so you can see what I have been doing since my last blog entry in April 2013.

I’m a proud production sponsor of Mike Lang’s latest documentary project, a new webseries called Valleys that was released in the spring. This FREE film resource is an essential tool for educating medical professionals, caregivers and young adults with cancer about the challenges and experience of the young adult caregiver. In May, I had the opportunity to join Mike, cancer survivor Amy and her caregiver friend Annie (who appear in Valleys) in a radio interview for the VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Network: “Frankly Speaking About Cancer – Finding Support Through Documentary Film”. It’s archived here if you’d like to check it out. Thanks to Emily Martin, Communications Coordinator at Uniting the Wellness Community & Gilda’s Club Worldwide for organizing!

The months of June, July and August were filled with editing duties for the Caregivers Section at Cancer Knowledge Network. I was honoured to facilitate and sometimes write introductions for articles by some of the amazing caregivers/survivors that I met or reconnected with at Critical Mass 2012 and Stupid Cancer’s OMG Summit 2013, including:

– young adult cancer survivor/caregiver Suleika Jaouad (read her piece on “10 Things Not To Say to a Cancer Patient” here; you can also follow her on Twitter @suleikajaouad or visit her blog, Secrets of Cancerhood
– author and caregiver extraordinaire Rob Harris, a true find and a new friend (read his piece on “The Intimacy of Cancer” for CKN here)
Lou Greensweig, father of founder Matthew Zachary, (read his piece for CKN here)
Lorna Larsen, founder of Team Shan, who wrote a piece for us in honour of her daughter, called “No Longer the Caregiver, Now What
Kim Jones, another mother, caregiver and advocate, also the founder of the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation, wrote “From the Football Field to the Cancer Ward: One mother’s journey with her son” for CKN here

It has been my pleasure to introduce CKN readers to the heartfelt, raw and real stories these people (along with others not mentioned here) bravely shared with all of us. Please check out their contributions in the Caregivers Section at CKN.

September brought me the opportunity to introduce another incredible woman to the CKN Caregiver communtiy: Anne Grinyer, author of Cancer in Young Adults – Through the Parents’ Eyes and Palliative and End of Life Care for Children and Young People: Home, Hospice and Hospital. Her piece for CKN can be found here. I first met Anne in 2010 when she interviewed me about my experience as a parent of a young adult who died of cancer, at the Teenage Cancer Trust Conference in London, England. One of my goals for 2014 is to bring her to Canada to share her wisdom with us.

In honour of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in October, I submitted an article of my own at CKN, addressing the difficult topic of a parent losing a child to cancer : “Just Keep Breathing“.

In November I will be attending the Critical Mass Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. I’m looking forward to seeing some old friends and connecting with new ones! I am also already following the OMG Cancer Summit news for 2014. I was so excited to note that while last year’s conference included 1 or 2 sessions with a “caregiver” focus, this year that number has multiplied up to 6. I am thrilled to see that the voice of the caregiver in the young adult cancer community is gaining recognition and support.

So…other than spending the glorious month of October up at our ranch in the wilds of the West Chilcotin, chasing cows, harvesting the garden and hanging with my husband, Lee…that is “What’s Up Catchup” for me.

More soon…


Photo Post: Chasing Rainbows House Concerts in Vancouver & Whistler

May 19, 2010

Fall Tour 08/Concert 09 Update

December 17, 2008

Since Michael and I returned from our Chasing Rainbows Screening and Discussion Tour last April/May we have spent time meeting people who could help us producea young adult cancer awareness concert for Fall 2009 – that we plan to stream live , on-line across Canada and further, if the technology allows it to be so. We plan to make sure there is a website in place for follow -up support. I will keep you posted as we get closer to making our goal a reality.

This past November, Michael and I were invited to screen “Chasing Rainbows” at the Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division’s first”Surviving Cancer and Living Well Conference” in Toronto. It was one of the first Screenings at a Plenary Breakfast Session for a Conference of that size for us. Young adult cancer survivors Peter Mazereeuw and Lisa Kramer (from the film) spoke, Michael played and sang and the film brought chuckles and tears to the mixed audience of cancer survivors of all ages and health care professionals.

December 1 to December 2 we  screened the film in Regina and Saskatoon at the Saskatchewan Cancer Agencies. Again, it was early morning sessionsfor the staff of the oncology departments. Again, the film and music moved people to laughter and tears. It feels good to see my daughter Sara’s goal being met. She is still making a difference.

On these past two tours Michael and I also startedvideo taping young adult cancer survivors for an on-line support website and published young adult cancer survivor anthology of short stories. I believe the more support there is out there for young adults the better.

Well, that is it for now. As I prepare for the holidays, I think of all the wonderful people I met on our 2008 Tours. It is truly the highlight of our trips.

Happy Holidays everyone!

More in the New Year!



Happy Holidays Everyone. More news to come soon.

December 17, 2008

Chasing Rainbows Tour Update – April 07/08

April 7, 2008

Wow! Our Chasing Rainbows Screening and Discussion Tour across Canada for Spring 2008 is coming together. We are now adding Halifax to our Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal dates. We’ll also be presenting the film at CAPO (Canadian Association Psychosocial Oncology)’s annual conference on Friday, May 9th at 2:30 PM at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Halifax.

I have been busy chatting with all the young adult speakers in each city that will be part of our screening presentations. Each person has a different story to tell. I hope we can collect and publish those stories into a young adults living with cancer anthology, one day.

Thanks to the hard work of our publicist, Melanie Thompson, we are beginning to get some feed back from the media we have been in contact with for the Tour. I am being interviewed on the Noon Show on CTV Calgary on April 22.

More to come soon, I am certain.

A side line: Michael Booth Palmer, our “Chasing Rainbows” co-producer and songwriter, held a video taping of his latest live concert and new band, the Fretbenders, at the St James Community Square last month. I hope to take the video copy of the “Chasing Rainbows” song and upload it onto Youtube when we get back from our Tour. I will keep you posted.

Be sure to say hi to Michael and me at our Screenings, so we know that this blog is getting “hit” on.

Keep “Chasing Rainbows” at