I was confident that this [conference] would accelerate our mission of advancing cancer care across the globe. What I didn’t expect was to gain a personal understanding of just how much those developments can mean to people affected by cancer.
BY MIKE HENNESSY, SR.
WHEN MJH ASSOCIATES, INC., took the reins of the Miami Breast Cancer Conference® in 2011, our goal was to keep the mission of the annual gathering intact by providing surgical and medical oncologists with the latest practice-changing information in their field. I was confident that this would accelerate our mission of advancing cancer care across the globe. What I didn’t expect was to gain a personal understanding of just how much those developments can mean to people affected by cancer.
Yet I did when my wife, Patti Hennessy, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Her diagnosis came the year we acquired the conference, and since then, the trajectory of the annual meeting has paralleled Patti’s journey. My wife gave all her physical and emotional strength to undergoing treatment for her initial cancer, recurrences and then breast cancer; the scientists whose findings stimulate discussion at the conference worked steadfastly to identify new and better treatment techniques. Today, Patti and patients with similar cancer histories are benefiting from those strategies.
Along the way, our family has been grateful to entrust Patti’s care to her local medical oncologist and some of the nation’s foremost oncologic experts — stars both at our conference, and now in our lives. Patti has worked with them as an active part of the treatment team, weighing options and sharing her opinions about which were best.
In the process, Patti developed insights she was certain would help breast oncologists offer personalized and compassionate treatment to their patients. That was what finally caused her path to converge with that of the conference: On March 10, Patti shared her wisdom as the gathering’s keynote speaker.
With conviction and strength of purpose, Patti conveyed actionable messages
to this group of top oncology care providers. She was amazing. It was an extremely proud moment for me and our entire family.
The speech was not only a culmination, but also a beginning. Patti and I are looking forward to our 35th wedding anniversary, to more time with family and to the continued emergence of strategies that will keep her illness in the background of our lives.
As the conference continues its journey, we’re excited about the opportunity to share those breakthroughs with experts who will use them to improve upon patient quality of life and outcomes. Thank you for sharing this milestone moment with our family.
And, as always, thank you for reading.
MIKE HENNESSY, SR.
Chairman and CEO