Over the weekend, you might have seen the hashtag #cancerFIERCE coming out of the social media coverage of South by Southwest (SXSW).
That is because Dr. Jill Biden and other leaders with the Biden Cancer Initiative were at the gathering in Austin, TX to put the organization’s work front and center at a gathering of leading thinkers and entrepreneurs.
As part of Dr. Biden’s #cancerFIERCE visit to SXSW, she met with cancer patients, caregivers, and advocates, including Mike DiMascio.
Mike lives in Plano, Texas with his wife Shannon and their two daughters, Mikaela and Evie.
Their world was changed forever less than half a year ago when Shannon was diagnosed with stage one esophageal adenocarcinoma - esophageal cancer.
After Shannon was diagnosed, with the assistance of the Cancer Support Community North Texas, Mike helped the family navigate the challenges of her chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and recovery afterwards.
Mike shared his experiences with Dr. Biden at the first of a series of “Conversations with Dr. Jill Biden” - a national effort to draw in and learn from the perspectives of the cancer patient support network - family members, caregivers, patient navigators, and other care providers for insights on the realities of living with cancer and the ripple effects a diagnosis can have on families and communities.
Caregivers also face unique challenges in addition to patients. Besides caring for the family, Mike must also assist Shannon with managing her nutrition, energy levels, and pain in her cancer experience.
That’s why we were grateful that Mike was able to meet Dr. Biden on Saturday at SXSW in Austin, TX.
We look forward to many more opportunities to share the collaboration between CSC and the Biden Cancer Initiative in amplifying the voices of patients and caregivers, especially since Vice President Biden invited our CEO, Kim Thiboldeaux, to serve on the Biden Cancer Initiative’s Board of Directors last year.
To learn about our work with the Biden Cancer Initiative’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative, click here.