Sharon Dixon is a strong advocate for head and neck cancer survivors. She was born in Edmonton, Alberta has lived there her entire life. She wants to see positive change in health care.
She was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma stage 4 and had a very aggressive reconstructive jaw surgery in 2006. She has been a 25 year employee until this year working for the Alberta Provincial Government. Sharon volunteers on many boards helping to make change in the Health Care of Canada.
She is a volunteer for Alberta health care, participating in a multitude of boards assigned to short and long term projects. Once a year, Sharon will do some public speaking at the University of Alberta, speaking to 1st year medical students and 4th year dental hygienists about her journey as a survivor. Sharon’s strongest passion is for head and neck survivors and all cancer patients.
As a business strategist working in Chicago, Murray Shaw underwent colon cancer surgery in 2002 and suddenly discovered what survivorship is really about. Once recovered and working in Zurich in 2003, he worked hard to rehabilitate himself back to the competitive marathon runner he had been for over 40 years, but struggled to get fit. It turned out that he had Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia, a rare Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which was supressing his production red blood cells, among other things.
Fifteen years, four sets of chemotherapy and an autologous stem cell transplant later, he continues to focus on fitness, an active life, and membership in a number of support groups aimed at helping people cope with cancer. He regards cancer and its management as his “hobby” – something very interesting and important to him, but not something to be obsessed about.
“I was born in the UK to British Military parents, who were stationed all over the world. I went to British Girls Military School in London, and then emigrated to Canada in 1977.
I was diagnosed with Stage 3 DCIS in January 2002, and had a mastectomy, chemo, and radiation. I then opted for a second mastectomy and reconstruction.
I am working in municipal government, and am a mother to two girls and currently grandmother to three boys.”
About the CCSN Survivorship and Rehabilitation Advisory Council
CCSN is establishing a Survivorship and Rehabilitation Advisory Council to help direct our work on behalf of cancer survivors and their families.
The Survivorship and Rehabilitation Advisory Council of the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network will provide expert advice to the Board and CEO. It is made up of cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, family members and healthcare professionals interested in working hand in hand with patients.
More information will follow soon.