Why weren’t you able to carry out your project before being part of the SPARC program?
We have had great success with digital/online support model and wanted to improve and expand these services to the metastatic breast cancer community. However, we couldn’t secure financial support. Potential sponsors didn’t want to be associated with metastatic disease and preferred “success stories” as they describe them.
How has SPARC contributed to develop and grow your initiative?
SPARC was the fuel we needed to get going. We had the vision, ideas, manpower, dedication and desire. Being recognised as a SPARC awardee – amongst the 20 international organisations – helped us receive support from the medical community and subject matter experts in the field.
What are the qualities required for your job and why?
An inquiring mind, creativity, patience, devotion, vision, focus and love. Things are not going to change overnight, indeed they haven’t changed much in a decade, as the recent report findings show, but I am here to carry the torch that other have lit and I realise this is a marathon not a sprint. So, we have to keep the focus, start from the ABC’s and not let ourselves feel down because things move slower than we expected them to. We are all moving forward.
What do you like most about your work?
Everything, it keeps on my toes and honest. I learn something new every day and thanks to this work I have met great people, visionaries. The collaboration aspect of it and how, from one project, we created several spin off projects is fascinating and very exciting. There is so much need and so little has been done that possibilities for service are endless. I feel privileged and grateful for the opportunity.
How will the application you are developing improve your metastatic breast cancer patients' lives?
It empowers and enables patients to:
And we offer these in a scalable multi language platform.
What do patients tell you when you engage them on the project? What do they think of the project?
We received kudos from the patients, they appreciate that we provide a safe community where they can interact with each other and receive answers to their questions. One of them recently said it was the first time she felt “heard”.
For more information on the SPARC MBC challenge please click here.