Vanessa Mann is the Hamilton/Halton/Niagara/Waterloo area Support Group Leader who has made an incredible contribution to the neuroendocrine patient community through her work as a SGL, a patient advocate, an awareness raiser and a fundraiser.
Vanessa was diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) in 2007. In 2008, she joined the Hamilton Support Group and became involved with CNETS Canada and the NETs community. There she met Barb Bell and Lorraine Duffy, who were instrumental in influencing Vanessa to become more involved with the Hamilton Support Group. Vanessa actively volunteered with the Support Group for many years before formally becoming the Support Group Leader in 2014.
Vanessa is well loved by NET patients in her community and beyond and is well known as a kind and compassionate person. Vanessa always makes herself available to support her fellow NET patients, to listen to individual stories and provide as much advice and information as she can. She spends countless hours researching NETs and shares her findings at patient support group meetings that she facilitates and on our Canadian facebook support forum. Whenever there is something new in the NETs field, Vanessa is on top of it! Vanessa endeavours to help everyone by sharing the right amount of information at the right time, eases their minds and help them better understand this complicated disease. She empowers patients feel better about themselves, their NETs diagnosis and most of all she gives people HOPE !
In addition to Vanessa’s work as a Support Group Leader, Vanessa has raised over $8,000 in support of NET cancer research through several self-organized events including her 2011, 2012 and 2019 “Hikes for Help”, 2013 “Canoe-A-Thon” and 2018 “Let’s Talk About It” online Facebook fundraiser.
Vanessa sat on the 2019 CNETS Canada Fundraising Toolkit Committee where, together with other NET patients and supporters, she helped compose a fundraising guide designed to assist others develop and execute their own fundraising events.
Currently, Vanessa is currently exploring a volunteer patient advisory partner role at London Health Sciences. With her strong knowledge of NETs and as a cancer survivor, she will be a great asset to any patient advisory committee.
Vanessa has and always will continue to be a very strong, compassionate and knowledgeable advocate for the NETs community. Lucy Kuzma, a fellow NET patient says “Vanessa is a true inspiration to everyone she meets. Her endless contributions, wholehearted dedication and passion for the CNETs community is truly remarkable!”
Vanessa , together with the support of her husband Craig, and her loving and beautiful 15 year old twins, Alexa and Evan, has made an immeasurable contribution to the NET community, she embodies the spirit and dedication of Maureen Coleman and it is our honour to present Vanessa with the 2019 Maureen Coleman Award .
Dr. Calvin Law
Dr. Calvin Law is a surgical oncologist at the Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Dr. Law’s clinical practice is devoted to hepato-biliary, pancreatic, and gastrointestinal malignancies and he has a sub-specialized practice in neuroendocrine tumors. As the co-founder of the Susan Leslie Multidisciplinary Neuroendocrine Tumours Clinic, Dr. Law is actively engaged in the treatment of patients with neuroendocrine tumours.
Dr. Law has served in numerous leadership roles, and currently is the Chief of the Odette Cancer Centre and Regional Vice President for Cancer Care Ontario.
Dr. Law fits the criteria for the Maureen Coleman award as a result of his incredible work in patient care and outcomes. He has brought hope to countless patients where there was none. Dr. Law is well known for his hands-on, caring and compassionate approach and in partnership with his NET colleagues he goes above and beyond to ensure NET patients at the Susan Leslie Multidisciplinary clinic receive the best care possible.
Lisa Dawn Collins, a NET patient of Dr. Law, shared that after being told there was nothing to be done for her neuroendocrine cancer in her province she asked for a referral to Dr. Law. Dr. Law agreed to take her case and operate on her. He facilitated her out of province surgery, keeping Lisa up to date from a distance throughout the planning stages and he ultimately spent nine and a half hours operating on Lisa. “Dr. Law was determined to get the tumour even when it meant taking out my pancreas. After all that time in the OR Dr. Law took the time to sit with my husband and sister to explain what had taken place during surgery” says Lisa. Dr. Law once again took a hands-on approach to Lisa’s post-operative care, which was complicated by the fact that she was not eligible for home care in her province or in Ontario. “Dr. Law visited me personally many times during my recovery and it was on one of those visits that he that he told us he had gotten clear margins. Had I not obtained a referral to Dr. Law I would not be here today” says Lisa.
In addition to being a hands-on physician, Dr. Law has given countless hours over many years to the NET patient community through CNETS Canada sponsored patient education events. He delivers complex NET surgical related education in a down-to-earth and simple manner with a humours twist. He always manages to get a chuckle out of his audience. Dr. Law makes himself available at these events to field patient questions, always providing sound and calm guidance.
Dr. Law’s dedication, humble spirit and true caring approach to patient care is widely appreciated by the Canadian neuroendocrine community. It is our honour to recognize Dr. Law’s incredible contribution to our community and present him with the well-deserved 2019 Maureen Coleman Award.
Après son propre diagnostic, Marie-Anne reconnaît que la STCNE du Canada a fait une grande différence dans la recherche d’information et le soutien qui ont changé le cours de sa vie. Presque immédiatement, alors que Marie-Anne se rendait compte de l’impact de la STCNE du Canada, elle a elle-même fait un effort pour contribuer de plusieurs façons afin d’aider à ce que d’autres personnes ressentent ce même impact. Marie-Anne est l’une des membres les plus actives du groupe de soutien de la STCNE du Canada de Montréal. La différence que la STCNE du Canada a fait pour Marie-Anne l’a motivée à être un membre contributeur clé, en faisant beaucoup de choses en coulisses pour aider le groupe.
Cette année, Marie-Anne a pris en charge l’organisation de la première journée francophone d’éducation aux patients, qui a eu lieu en avril 2018. Les efforts et le dévouement nécessaires à la réalisation de cet événement était incroyable, mais Marie-Anne n’a pas eu peur du défi. Elle était motivée car elle connaissait l’impact que l’événement aurait sur les patients francophones. La promotion de l’événement, souvent en allant en personne dans différents centres de cancer, a fait une différence significative dans la sensibilisation aux TNE et à la STCNE du Canada.
Près de 100 patients et de proches aidants ont assisté à la journée francophone d’éducation aux patients. La journée en elle-même s’est passée avec professionnalisme et bienveillance – la combinaison parfaite. Dès le mot d’ouverture, Marie-Anne a bien indiqué que la STCNE du Canada était l’endroit où trouver de l’information, du soutien et de l’espoir dans la bataille contre les TNE.
Le succès de la journée francophone d’éducation aux patients a motivé Marie-Anne à continuer à sensibiliser la population sur la STCNE du Canada. La fin de semaine suivante, Marie-Anne participait au défi caritatif de la banque Scotia, en aidant l’équipe Zèbre de Montréal à récolter plus de 5000$ pour la recherche sur le cancer TNE au Canada. Marie-Anne a relevé le défi physique d’une marche de 5km – elle l’a fait avec sa canne, son sourire et son rire !
Marie-Anne continue également à prendre soin et soutenir d’autres patients TNE. La bienveillance, l’espoir et le soutien que Marie-Anne démontre aux autres patients viennent du même esprit qui la motive à faire tout ce qu’elle peut pour la communauté TNE. Championne de la communauté TNE, Marie-Anne a déjà commencé à planifier un plus grand événement pour la journée francophone d’éducation aux patients TNE en 2019 !
After her own diagnosis, Marie-Anne credits CNETS Canada with making a difference in providing information and support that changed the course of her life. Almost immediately, as Marie-Anne felt the impact of CNETS Canada, she made an effort to contribute in any way possible to help others feel the same impact. Marie-Anne is one of most active members of the Montreal CNETS Canada Support Group. The difference CNETS Canada made for Marie-Anne motivated her to be a key contributing member, doing many things behind the scenes to help the group.
This year, Marie-Anne took on the task of organizing a the First French NET Patient Education Day, held in April 2018. The effort and commitment that was required to pull off this event was incredible, but Marie-Anne did not shy away from the challenge. She was motivated by knowing the impact the event would have on so many French speaking NET patients. The promotion of the event, often going in-person to individual cancer centres, made a significant difference in raising awareness of NETs and CNETS Canada.
Almost 100 patients and caregivers attended the French NET Patient Education Day. The day itself was executed with professionalism and caring – the perfect combination. From her opening words, Marie-Anne made it clear that CNETS Canada was a place to find education, support and hope in the battle against NETs.
The success of the French Patient Education Day motivated Marie-Anne to continue to raise awareness of CNETS Canada. The following weekend, Marie-Anne participated in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, helping Team Zebra Montreal raise over 5K for NET cancer research in Canada. Marie-Anne overcame the physical challenge of walking 5k – she did it with her cane, her smile, and her laugh!
Marie-Anne also continues to care for and support other NET patients. The caring, hope, and support Marie-Anne shows other patients comes from that same spirit that motivates her to do whatever she can for the NET community. A champion for the NET community, Marie-Anne has already started the planning for an even bigger French NET Patient Education Day in 2019!