I have been lucky enough to work at Cancer and Careers for six years as of October, 2021, but overseeing this year's West Coast Conference has shown me that there are always new things to learn and new experiences to be had. Though I have always contributed to the conference, this was the first year that I led the event and it made the experience that much more special!
As we continue navigating the reality of the pandemic, and we remain in this virtual lifestyle, CAC events continue to take place in the virtual realm. This year, we saw our largest West Coast Conference attendance yet, with over 130 patients, survivors, healthcare professionals, HR professionals, caregivers and other members of the cancer community.
The conference included:
- 136 total attendees.
- 30 people attended via the laptops awarded through our Technology Assistance Program.
- Attendees tuned in from 23 different states.
- Over 50% of attendees are in active treatment.
While it can often be challenging to form connections and engage with others during virtual events, this audience proved that wrong! The chat box feature in zoom may have never seen so much action! Throughout the day, participants were engaging by sharing stories, support, resources, and even personal contact information to stay in touch after the event. These are the types of connections we strive to promote during our programming--virtual or in-person--and it was incredible to see it unfold in real time.
The day included four sessions focusing on getting started, balancing work and a cancer diagnosis, job searching, and managing stress after a diagnosis. Each session was followed by a moderated Q+A portion that allowed attendees to have their specific questions addressed by the speakers.
The staff of CAC, myself included, walked away from the day feeling energized and committed to continuing the important work of providing resources, services and tools to support success in the workplace after cancer. As one attendee put it:
"This was a really wonderful event, and the facilitators conveyed a lot of truly valuable information. I think everyone who is planning to continue working after a cancer diagnosis should attend a Cancer + Careers conference (I wish I’d known about the organization sooner). Thank you very much!"
The entire event would not have been possible without our generous sponsors who are committed to supporting those with cancer as they navigate work after a diagnosis. Thank you again to: