Welcome back to Sydney’s Corner (new here? Check out my intro post!) Today’s topic is all about the recent ASCO conference!

ASCO stands for the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Founded in 1964, the American Society of Clinical Oncology is the world’s leading professional organization for physicians and healthcare professionals caring for people with cancer. Every year, ASCO holds a meeting in Chicago with the top oncology professionals in the world.

Some of our fellow COLONTOWNies had the opportunity to attend the meeting earlier this month. Among the attendees were our very own Erika Hansen Brown, Nancy Seybold, Steve Schwarze, Carole Michelle, Diane Helle Bendtsen, Andrea Jamieson, Lari Johnston, and PALTOWN Board Chair Trevor Barlow. I had the pleasure of reaching out to some of them asking about their experience in Chicago.

PALTOWN at our booth at ASCO

Before reaching out to the individuals, I decided to prepare a questionnaire. I wanted to make sure I highlighted all of the aspects of the conference. I also wanted to have so much information,  that it would feel like I was at the PALTOWN booth.

Carole at the famous Bean in Chicago

The first person I reached out to was Carole Motycka! Carole was diagnosed in 2016 with stage four colon cancer that metastasized to the liver. Originally rushing to the emergency room for shoulder and back pain, Carole was shocked by her diagnosis. After two years of treatment at the Cleveland Clinic, Carole went into liver failure. Her only option was a transplant. After eight months, she received a transplant from a friend at church. With that transplant, Carole was the first CRC patient to receive a living liver transplant. Today she is doing fantastic and is doing all things she did before diagnosis!

Carole teamed up with Steve Schwarze to create the Steve and Carole Show. The skit was posted on our group ‘COLONTOWN-DOWNTOWN’ for all of the members to see. By producing this show, outsiders were able to see the PALTOWN booth and what the plan of the day was. Check out the full playlist on our YouTube channel! Here’s one of their first episodes, with the link to the playlist at the top right corner:

When I asked Carole what the most intriguing part of ASCO was, she said “My favorite part of ASCO was the interaction with all of the clinicians, advocates, pharma reps., etc. whom all had the same desire to put an end to cancer.”

Carole with Dr. Kemeny at the ASCO conference

Traditional medicine suggests physician-driven medicine, but oncologists are now turning to more patient involvement. By this transition, the patients are able to gain more knowledge, therefore helping others.

“The forward momentum will change the way we look at treatments and patient to patient advocacy in the future and I gratefully praise that they are all in support of this new movement!”

Carole’s Advice for any future ASCO attendees: Don’t wear heels!!

Special thanks to Carole Motycka for taking the time to talk to me!

Sydney Topper

Sydney Topper

Social Media Intern

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