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Johns Hopkins Breast Cancer Retreat

The Only Cancer Retreat of its Kind.


The Only Cancer Retreat of its Kind

For women with stage 4 breast cancer, issues are very different than for other cancer patients. Their cancer is not curable, and they are facing their own mortality.

Lillie Shockney, an extraordinary nurse navigator and administrative director of the Johns Hopkins Breast Cancer Center, decided they need a retreat of their own. The result is a weekend experience that has been transformational for those who attend. It has also transformed the thinking of many in the medical community who have seen it.

Why we got involved with Johns Hopkins

Written by Len Smofsky, BlueRush Executive Vice-President.

Lillie Shockney was very clear: “I have 2 goals for this video - first that other hospitals see this and are motivated to start a metastatic retreat of their own, and secondly that oncologists and others in the medical community see the human side of their patient’s journey.”

To be honest, when we set out to help Lillie make the film, I thought the first objective was possible - Lillie had convinced me of the need for this retreat for women with metastatic disease. I figured others who see it might agree and try to set up their own. But convince oncologists, who see cancer patients all day long, to see these patients in a different light? Let’s say I was skeptical.

Well, I have learned to listen to Lillie. The film has now been shown to thousands of medical professionals, and there are many stories of oncologists breaking down during the screening.

We at BlueRush have donated our time and resources to worthwhile projects in the past, but none quite like this. Lillie has continued to get the film seen at medical conferences, events and talks. Its impact has continued to grow. As one of the women in the video said - this will spread from all of us.

The result

Thanks to the very brave women who opened their lives for this video, there are now 2 more metastatic retreats and several more in the works. There are many oncologists who are treating the person, not just the disease. This is a radical shift for many health care professionals. The video is also now part of the Association of Nurse Navigators teaching curriculum.

This video also won two Gold awards at the 2013 Hermes Creative Awards in the categories “Documentary” and “Pro Bono”. Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional materials and programs, as well as emerging technologies.

Learn more

To find out more, go to : Johns Hopkins Breast Cancer Center

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