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Monday
Jun032013

Fun Times at ASCO

Last Thursday, I hopped on a plane and took off to Chicago. The reason? One of the biggest cancer conferences in the world: the ASCO (which stands for American Society of Clinical Oncology) Annual Meeting. All of my oncologist buddies were going to be there, from USC and from abroad, and I was excited to learn more about cutting-edge research, support our docs as they spoke or presented their research, and meet with other colon cancer groups. I knew I'd have a full plate of activity but I was excited to clean my plate, one chomp at a time.

So far, it's been awesome. This is my first time to the ASCO Annual Meeting, and it's gigantic. Tens of thousands of people here. The conference is held at this convention center which feels like one of the biggest buildings I've ever been in...for real. The presentations have been quite interesting and I've been able to meet with my friends from other cancer organizations. Obviously, whenever Dr. Lenz and I are in the same place, it's a party so this has definitely been a fun and educational experience. My lawyer brain has to stretch a bit to understand some of the stuff that's being discussed, but it stretches and whenever I have a question, I just whisper it to Dr. Lenz and I get my answer. I'm sure the conclusions I'm drawing are pretty rough but I love immersing myself into the research side of things, especially since that's what The Wunder Project is all about. 

On Saturday night, USC Norris hosted a reception where I got to see two very important and very European members of The Wunder Project. The first was my boy Justin Stebbing, an extremely well-respected oncologist and researcher who practices in London. He serves on our Medical Advisory Board for the Project and he's devilishly funny. I met him back when I was in England in January, and it was so awesome to reunite. 

The second was Sabine Tejpar, one of the doctors on our "dream team" for The Wunder Project and a brilliant researcher and oncologist from Belgium. It was great to touch base with her and talk about our upcoming plans and the work we'll do together. Now I just need to raise the money and put these guys to work!

Dr. Lenz's schedule has been insane. From meeting to meeting to interview to dinner meeting to reception. Poor guy gets up at the crack of dawn and can't rest until around midnight. But hey, heavy hangs the crown when you're the king of colon cancer. We've been meeting up throughout the days and it's remarkable to me how many people are just itching to shake his hand and have a word with him. His sense of collaboration is so incredible that he's quite literally worked with people from all over the world. He is so dedicating to moving things forward, and it's so apparent during this conference. What an incredible guy, right? I know he's proud of me, but I am so deeply proud of him. That's my HJL. He speaks later on tonight and I will most certainly be the loudest person applauding him when he's done. It's a great feeling to know that your partner in crime -- and in killing cancer -- is a superstar.

 

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