Patient Stories and Perspectives

In 2003, at just 15 years old, Vanessa Delle Monache was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma. As a teenager and young adult, she was embarrassed about her diagnosis and only shared it with a few people. Just before her 30th birthday, a routine follow up appointment changed Vanessa’s life once again. This time her outlook had changed. Join us as Vanessa shares her story of diagnosis, treatment and the impact cancer has had on her life.  Follow Vanessa’s journey on her blog at “Dear Cancer, Love Vanessa.”



Today we talk with Elise Gasbarrino, founder of Pink Pearl. Pink Pearl is a charitable organization that helps connect young women between the ages of 18-40 with support after their cancer diagnosis. Cancer can be a challenging road to navigate, and Pink Pearl helps to support young women with resources such as mental health support, guidance with interrupted education, and peer support. Listen in to Elise discuss her journey, and how she is using her experience to help others.

Join us today while we speak with Dr. David Stewart, Professor of Oncology at the University of Ottawa. We discuss Dr. Stewart’s new book: “Why Cancer Still Sucks”, which addresses common questions about cancer, as well as hopeful changes for the future. Dr. Stewart demystifies questions around drug development, as well as the differences in the Canadian and American healthcare systems.

Listen in to our conversation with our guest, Dr. Hal Hirte. Dr. Hirte reflects on his career in oncology as he approaches retirement. We discuss changes over the course of many years of medical care, patient care, and advancements that have been made over the last several decades.

Neil Johnson takes a break from his busy schedule as the newly appointed Vice President of Oncology for Hamilton Health Sciences. Today, Neil tells us about his first few months in this new position. We talk about the changes that we’ve seen in cancer care during COVID, and how he is moving forward now to help bring care to those who need it. We discuss caregiver support, plans for the future, and how the field of oncology has changed.