Scientific Peer Review of Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs’ PRCRP for the Department of Defense
The Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs’ (CDMRP), Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP) consumer advocate Andrea Wilson recently participated in the evaluation of research applications submitted to the PRCRP. President Andrea Wilson was nominated for participation in the program by Blue Faery last year. As a consumer reviewer, Ms. Wilson was a full voting member, along with prominent scientists at meetings to help determine how the $90 million appropriated by Congress for Fiscal Year 2019 will be spent on cancer research.
Consumer reviewers are asked to represent the collective view of patients by preparing comments on the impact of the research on issues such as diagnosis, treatment and quality of life. When commenting on serving as a consumer reviewer, Ms. Wilson, “This program allows patients and caregivers to actively participate in the future of cancer research. It is an amazing experience.”
Consumer advocates and scientists have worked together in this unique partnership to evaluate the scientific merit of research applications since FY09. Colonel Stephen J. Dalal, Director of the CDMRP, expressed his appreciation for the consumer advocate’s perspective during the scientific review sessions. “Consumer advocates are an integral part of the CDMRP’s scientific review process. They provide a key ingredient to the review process, the patient’s perspective, which is real and urgent. The collaboration of Consumer advocates alongside the scientists’ subject matter expertise is a truly unique collaboration that is difficult to find in most medical research programs.”
Scientists applying propose to conduct innovative research that successfully promotes high impact research for cancer, prevention, detection, treatment and survivorship. The PRCRP fills important gaps not addressed by other funding agencies by supporting groundbreaking, high-risk, high-gain research while encouraging out-of-the-box thinking.
More information about the CDMRP’s PRCRP is available on the website: https://cdmrp.army.mil/prcrp/default.
Public Affairs Specialist
Supporting the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, USAMRMC
Blue Faery Attends The Liver Meeting
President Andrea Wilson, Volunteer Booth Manager Elizabeth Marquez and Board Director Matthew Loxton attended AASLD's annual Liver Meeting in Boston from November 8 – 11. More than 250 people visited Blue Faery's booth including numerous oncologists, hepatologists, nurses and medical students from all over the world. Many researchers expressed interest in applying for the Blue Faery Award. As always, Blue Faery's tote bags, water bottles and blue highlighters were a big hit with the entire crowd.
Every person who stopped by Blue Faery's booth received a free copy of Better Off Bald: A Life in 147 Days (so be sure to keep an eye on your inbox).
Pictured: Elizabeth Marquez and Matthew Loxton
President Andrea Wilson Attends Mayo SPORE Meeting
As a patient advocate representative, President Andrea Wilson attended the first Hepatobiliary SPORE Meeting at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Several other liver cancer advocates were present including executives from The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation, Global Liver Institute and a survivor of Hepatocellular Carcinoma. The event included a dinner at the Mayo Foundation House as well as an all-day meeting with research updates, group discussions, and breakout sessions.
Pictured above: Dr. Lewis Roberts, Dr. Mark McNiven, Andrea Wilson, Dr. Sanford Simon, Dr. Mitesh Borad, Dr. Kabir Mody
Blue Faery Exhibits at ASCO 2019
President Andrea Wilson, Blue Faery Booth Manager Elizabeth Marquez and Volunteer Edward Hinton attended ASCO’s annual meeting in Chicago from May 31 – June 4. For the fourth year in a row, Blue Faery received one of the 32-coveted booths in the ASCO-sponsored patient advocacy pavilion.
During the conference, Andrea attended several sessions including the opening with guest speaker and bestselling author Dr. Atul Gawande and the ASCO Book Club. Additionally, Andrea met with over 20 current and future partners and gave two interviews.
On Sunday evening, Blue Faery hosted its 1st Annual HCC Partners Advocacy Workshop for its Blue Faery Benefactors Council. Representatives from Eisai, Exelixis and Genentech were present. The purpose of the meeting is to bring together all council members and develop a specific goal to achieve by October — Liver Cancer Awareness Month.
On behalf of Blue Faery’s Board, Andrea thanks Elizabeth and Edward, who did a fantastic job of running Blue Faery’s booth, which experienced traffic of over 400 people this year (a record!).
The most touching moment of the conference for Andrea was seeing Dr. Rafael Amado, the last doctor to treat her sister Adrienne before she died. Andrea had not seen Dr. Amado in over 17 years. A chance conversation with another doctor led to the knowledge that Dr. Amado was at ASCO. Dr. Amado, who rarely treated pediatric patients when he worked at UCLA, remembered Adrienne saying, “She was an angel.”
Blue Faery Exhibits at The Liver Meeting in San Francisco
President Andrea Wilson and Volunteer Booth Manager Elizabeth Marquez attended AASLD's annual Liver Meeting in San Francisco from November 9 – 13. More than 250 people visited Blue Faery's booth including numerous oncologists, hepatologists and medical students from all over the world.* Many researchers expressed interest in applying for the Blue Faery Award. As always, Blue Faery's tote bags, water bottles and blue Sharpies were a big hit with the entire crowd.
*Due to the large number of Mongolian doctors who visited our booth and Mongolia having the highest incidence of primary liver cancer in the world, Blue Faery's website now translates into Mongolian.
President Andrea Wilson Speaks At FDA
On September 26, 2018, Blue Faery President Andrea Wilson spoke at an FDA mini symposium titled Liver-Directed Therapies for Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). Ms. Wilson was the only female and only non-doctor who spoke at the one-day event. She was honored to contribute to the patient's perspective about clinical trial eligibility. See her short talk on YouTube.
Blue Faery Hosts HCC Lunch & Learn
In collaboration with Eisai, Blue Faery hosted an HCC Lunch & Learn event where HCC patients, caregivers and one survivor came together to share their stories. Additionally, the group discussed treatment options and clinical trials for HCC patients. Two of the four caregivers present — Azure Klein and Cathy Anderson — are current Blue Faery volunteers. (See Blue Faery's Liver Cancer Community.) The participants traveled to New Jersey from California, Colorado, Texas, Alabama and Virginia.
Pictured: Azure Klein, Ryan Sharkey, Susan Sharkey, Cathy Anderson, Andrea Wilson, Bill Remak. Not pictured: Steve and Jane Kramer
President Andrea Wilson nominated for WEGO Health ‘Best in Show Podcast’ Award
A three-time nominee for a WEGO Health Award, this year Blue Faery President Andrea Wilson is nominated for the Best In Show Podcast Award. Her podcast Better Off Bald: A Life in 147 Days is based on her unpublished memoir of raising and losing her younger sister Adrienne to liver cancer; Adrienne was only ill 147 days. Help Andrea win the award and get more recognition for all HCC patients by endorsing her HERE!
Blue Faery Attends ASCO 2018
President Andrea Wilson, Blue Faery Booth Manager Elizabeth Marquez and Board Director Rolf Taylor attended ASCO’s annual meeting in Chicago from June 1 – 5. Blue Faery was honored to receive an ASCO-sponsored patient advocacy booth, which saves nonprofits hundreds of dollars in exhibit costs, for the third year in a row. During the conference, Andrea attended oral abstract sessions focused on Hepatocellular Carcinoma; meetings with potential partners and funders; and press events including three interviews. Additionally, Andrea conducted a presentation for the staff of Imerman Angels to educate them about Blue Faery and primary liver cancer.
On behalf of Blue Faery’s Board, Andrea thanks Elizabeth, who did a fantastic job of running Blue Faery’s booth, explaining our mission, promoting our activities and engaging conference participants. Andrea also thanks Rolf who supported Elizabeth's efforts at the booth and attended industry meetings with Andrea. Rolf's expertise and passion for a patient-driven agenda is perfectly aligned with Blue Faery's mission and long-term goals.
President Andrea Wilson Receives AACR Scientist↔Survivor Program Scholarship
President Andrea Wilson received a Scientist↔Survivor Program Scholarship to attend the American Association for Cancer Research's (AACR) annual meeting from April 14 – 18 at McCormick Place in Chicago. During the four-day event, Ms. Wilson attended sessions about primary liver cancer, participated in a group presentation about ‘omes' and presented her scientific poster Blue Faery Helps Liver Cancer Patients Spread Their Wings.
Watch Facebook Video HERE!
The AACR Scientist↔Survivor Program is designed to build enduring partnerships among the leaders of the scientific, cancer survivor and patient advocacy communities worldwide. The program provides advocates with special lectures using lay language, small group discussions and other opportunities for the exchange of information on key aspects of cancer research, survivorship, advocacy and public policy.