I’m leaving for Orlando this Friday to attend the 102nd annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. I will be a mentor for new advocates this year, something I’d really hoped to be able to do one day, and now I am! I have three new advocates from all over the US and one from New Zealand. I’m hoping to do a really good job! Being at the conference is very overwhelming, especially for first time attendees. 17,000 attend, the convention centers are about six city blocks long and two to three stories high and there are hundreds of scientific presentation. One former participant talked about his “shock and awe” at attending his first conference. I was overwhelmed when I attended my first conference. I’m trying to help my mentees be less overwhelmed.
Then early this week I was asked to be part of a press conference at the meeting. I’ve never done that! The press conference is in regards to proposed government cuts to the National Institutes for Health, which would decrease funding for cancer research. A former congressman, a cancer research scientist and myself will be at the press conference. They wanted a survivor who had benefited from cancer research…that would be me!! I even have a media coach now! I wrote out my presentation. Please wish me luck! I’ll let you know about it when I get back. A few friends say they are sending prayers my way…I’m very grateful for that!