We are excited to share with you this year’s agenda for GVCC! As survivors and caregivers ourselves, our goal is to develop programming to support you wherever you are - and to connect you to resources and others in our community.

Check back often for updates and new speakers as they are confirmed!


Founding Partner

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Flagship Sponsors

Amgen EMD Serono

Nov 12, 2021

Patients Are Our Driving Force - 11:30 AM (ET)

As a physician, Kristen has seen both tragedies and miracles in her career. As a caregiver and human, she has personally survived the loss of three family members, two to cancer. Now serving as Senior Vice President of Early Clinical Development, Hematology/Oncology & Cell Therapy at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), she and her team investigate new ways to transform patients’ lives through science on a daily basis. In this session, we will learn why patients are at the core of everything Kristen and her team do at BMS and hear how unique patient perspectives are helping to inform scientific discoveries. We will leave this session with a renewed understanding of the power of innovative medicines to profoundly change the course of serious human diseases, as well as BMS’ commitment to increase access and involve patients in improving care.

The Evolution of Care - Harnessing the Power of Your Immune System - 12:00 PM (ET)

In the last decade, immuno-oncology treatments have transformed cancer care and brought new hope to millions of cancer patients. By harnessing the power of each person’s own immune system, immunotherapy has created new treatment options distinctly different from traditional methods. In this session, we will learn what immunotherapy is, how it works and where research is headed for the future. We will leave this session with a better understanding of immunotherapy, including vocabulary to discuss this treatment option with your oncologist.

How to Care for the Caregiver - 12:00 PM (ET)

Caregivers are undercounted, unheard, and all but invisible. They often sacrifice their health, deal with emotional isolation and lack time to care for themselves. This issue is compounded when a caregiver is a woman or a racial/ethnic minority due to the inherent inequities in our economic system and pressure from traditional family paradigms. In this session, we will discuss how we, as a society and individuals, can support caregivers to address their emotional and physical needs and create systems where we proactively help the helpers.

The Whole Wide World of Clinical Trials - 2:00 PM (ET)

Clinical trials are more than a last resort option. Clinical trials are the future of medicine. Across cancer stages and types, there are trials out there for everyone. In this session, we will learn how to find clinical trials and their requirements. We will leave this session with a greater understanding of clinical trials, the kinds of trials out there for patients, and how they positively affect the future of healthcare.

Genetics Don’t Lie - 2:00 PM (ET)

Your genetic make-up and the genetic make-up of your cancer are the biggest determinants of cancer risk, the treatment you receive, and the effectiveness of that treatment. It has never been more important to understand the role that genetics plays in cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. In this session, a panel of experts will answer your questions and explain the different ways genetics plays a factor in cancer in a patient-friendly way. We will leave this session with a better understanding of the impact of genetics in cancer and what it means for you and your family.

I’m Metastatic, Now What? - 3:00 PM (ET)

Stage IV or metastatic cancer patients live with their disease, stuck in a time where they can’t celebrate the “survivorship” part of a cancer timeline. In this session, we will hear from folks with years of experience in the metastatic cancer community. We will leave this session with a greater understanding of how to interact with metastatic cancer patients in a way they want you to.

Unmasking The Cancer Experience: What COVID Means for Cancer Patients - 3:00 PM (ET)

Masks. Susceptibility to viruses. Cancer survivors have lived through their traumatic times of health vulnerability. Now - throw a global pandemic layer on top of that. In this session, we will learn how cancer survivors should navigate the world with a virus that is not likely to disappear. We will leave this session with actionable tips cancer survivors and caregivers can utilize in their own lives to maintain a state of health well-being.

Nov 13, 2021

Changing the Face of Cancer, Together - 10:30 AM (ET)

Founder of The Chris Draft Family Foundation in 2006, Chris’ mission is to empower families to lead healthy lifestyles. Four years later, a cancer diagnosis rocked his world when his wife, Keasha, was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. In 2011, Chris and Keasha co-founded Team Draft, a national campaign to change the face of lung cancer. Carrying on her legacy to increase awareness of misconceptions and health disparities, Chris will discuss what advocacy looks like, what it means to hold perspective, and how we can challenge the inequalities in our medical community.

Psst - You’re an Advocate, Too - 11:00 AM (ET)

Advocacy is a big word, but being an advocate comes in all forms, shapes, and sizes. There is a good chance you are already an advocate - you just don’t know it. In this session, we will learn what advocacy is, what it means to find and own our voice, and dispel those imposter feelings. We will leave this session feeling more confident in our ability to use our voice and create changes in our lives.

Building Your Tribe: Allyship Through Cultural Competency - 11:00 AM (ET)

Being an ally and selecting a community is an ever-evolving process. Maybe there is a community that works for you, or you’re involved in a community that only meets half of your needs, or you haven’t found one yet. As we move along our journeys, our needs and interests will change - and so will the organizations we both support and support us. In this session, we will cover what it means to look through the “allyship” lens when choosing an organization and how to be a good ally for underserved communities. We will leave this session with the knowledge that your own needs are unique and how to filter communities in a way that works for you.

The Relationship Dynamics of Cancer - 12:00 PM (ET)

Cancer worms its way into everything in our life, including self-talk, mental health, relationships, and intimacy with partners. In this session, we will hear several perspectives about how our relationship dynamics are strained from a cancer diagnosis, whether it’s your own or someone you know and love. We will leave this session knowing how to communicate our mental and physical health needs in a way that flourishes our relationships with ourselves and others instead of muddling them.

Making Clinical Trials More Accessible to All - 2:00 PM (ET)

Clinical trials should embrace health equity, not serve as a barrier to it. In this session, we will hear how industry sponsors are approaching clinical trials with a move towards ensuring diverse representation, inclusion of patient voice, and how technology is enabling more access to patient research. We will leave this session with a better understanding of how trial sponsors are bringing the clinical trial journey to patients’ doorsteps.

This Shyt Lasts Forever: Dealing With Long Term Side Effects - 2:00 PM (ET)

Treatment may be ongoing or may have ended, but long-term side effects are forever. In this session, we will have our side effects acknowledged by leading medical professionals. We will leave this session by learning habits to cope with long-term side effects in healthy ways, improve our quality of life, and help minimize pain and discomfort.

Finding Power Through Your Voice - 3:00 PM (ET)

Your voice and experiences matter. Eight selected members from the GRYT Health community will have five minutes each to share their stories of hardship, belonging, perseverance, "gryt," and more live. We will leave this session knowing that we are not alone in our thoughts and feelings.

Interactive Magic - 4:00 PM (ET)

Magician Aaron O'Brien in a Zoom-friendly magic show! Thriving on audience participation, you’ll be amazed by the magic he displays while inspiring some laughs.

GVCC21 Ends, but Cancer Does Not - 5:00 PM (ET)

It is time for our conference to end. However, our dedication to supporting one another does not end. This session is open for everyone to come together to discuss valuable things we learned from GVCC this year and what else GRYT Health and others are doing to help support the cancer community.