A patient with lung cancer explains how Terri Conneran, a patient advocate, helped her understand her disease and fight for proper care in a country with less options.
Here in New Zealand, we are falling behind the rest of the world when it comes to cancer care, treatment and options. It can be overwhelming and is a road filled with many obstacles. Standard care in New Zealand lacks the basics of many Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries.
Terri has helped me, a patient with unknown stage 3C (possibly now stage 4), understand the mechanics of my mutation, introduced me to a range of professionals in the Asia-Pacific area and encouraged me to fight for basic care in a proactive and positive way. I would not have been able to navigate this journey without her. She emails me, and we had a Zoom call that was amazing and filled me with hope. When I was feeling lost and despondent, she reminded me that I was full of strength and that I had the control over my learning, my research and my ability to do everything I can to change my path and the path for others.
As a patient advocate, Terri is a global powerhouse and pillar of strength, and I hope she will be recognized for all that she does and continues to do. I feel she is a bridge between patients, oncologists and researchers and brings everyone together. She does this with empathy and kindness.
I was navigating my cancer journey without a map — and Terri gave me one to help me find direction. Terri Conneran is my lung cancer hero!
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