Monday News, 5 June 2017

Happy Queen's Birthday from all of us. Welcome to new members.

We received the sad news last month that Laura Taylor Lopes passed away on 26 May. Laura lived in Whangarei but received her treatment in Auckland and attended our meetings. She called in recently on her way to Mercy Hospital to see about the Keytruda treatment. 

At 39 and pregnant with baby Theo, Laura was in a different demographic to most of us. She endured the surgery and radiation bravely, visiting us on her last day of treatment  in early December. We were delighted to meet Theo earlier this year. 

This can be a merciless cancer when it spreads. We will not forget Laura. Losing her makes us even more determined to make the world a better place for head and neck cancer people. We will be there when new treatments appear on the horizon. 

Diana has completed the questionnaire which was presented to the Northland/Auckland review team last Thursday. Thanks to those who completed it. 

Preparations are heating up for World Head and Neck Cancer Day on 27 July. Watch out for announcements when we have everything confirmed. So far I can tell you that we will have a stall in the foyer of North Shore Hospital with free screening, and a public lecture at Domain Lodge in the early evening. The lecture will actually consist of six TED-type talks with questions and discussion. The speakers will include surgeons, a researcher and a health policy expert. 

Over the last two weeks I have explored aspects of head and neck cancer surgery from the patient's point of view. People have shared their stories and their scars with me. The body heals in miraculous ways and we have benefited from the advances in surgery over the last few decades. Thank you to all the health professionals out there who choose to specialise in this challenging field.

Diana is having a well earned break in Hawaii this week. 

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