President’s Address from the Annual Conference 2015

Excerpts from the Annual Conference 2015 opening address by Cancer Support Services President Ms. Kathy-Ann Kelly-Springer.

Today’s conference “Malignancies in the Paediatric Age Group and Young Adults” is new territory for our organization as we seek to address the effects of cancer in the most vulnerable demographic we serve – that being Children and Youth.

See a short video excerpt here

Since 2012, we have covered topics such as “Living with Cancer: From Bench to Bedside”, in 2013 we looked at “Living with Cancer: My Life After Diagnosis” then last year we focused on “Clinical Challenges and Best Practices in Cancer Care”.  Our work has shown that more often than not, the very young do not understand the debilitating impact of serious illness, especially when it is life threatening:-

  • the isolation
  • the labelling

the treatments that alter and affect their lives are often overwhelming for children

For teenagers, the possibility of not being able to negotiate the vagaries of adolescent years “normally” because of hospitalization and changes in their physical conditions can prove to be very debilitating.  Then, too, the families of children and youth must bear the costs and emotional distress of their affliction.

We are, therefore, elated that our special guests have kindly consented to be here to address these very issues.

We therefore welcome:-

  • Dr. Sheila Weitzman, MB, BCh, FCP, FRCP, Canada
  • Dr. Curt Bodkyn, BSc. MBBS, MRCPI, MHPE, Trinidad
  • Dr. Tanya Trippett, M.D., USA
  • Dr. Ashley Munchel, M.D., USA
  • Dr. Cheryl Alexis, MBBS, MRCP, Barbados
  • Dr. Maisha Emmanuel, MBBS, DM, MSc, Barbados
  • We also welcome Mrs. Hazel Forde and Mr. Curtley Greenidge

The competences and scholarships these eminent practitioners represent assure us that this year’s conference will be innovative and motive to our local experience so that in the words of our motto will have better “Hands to Share and Hearts to Care”.

In closing, let me emphasize that we have embarked on a series of Pastoral Care Counseling for our clients which is proving to be very indispensable.

Therefore, we are asking all our medical partners to encourage their clients and families to receive counseling as an essential part of their treatment of cancer.

Ladies and gentlemen as I take my leave now I hope you enjoy our 4th Annual conference.

Thank you.