September 9 – 12, 2019

Westin Boston Waterfront

Boston, MA

Patient’s Stories

Jack Whelan

Jack Whelan is a 8 yr survivor of a rare, incurable blood cancer moving from a career IT Research Analyst to Research Advocate.   Travel with Jack on an intensely personal and oft-humorous bumpy ride on the road to Personalized Medicine still under construction while he is treated for a rare, incurable blood cancer. Encounter some relapsed/refractory detours, conflicting signals and biomarkers, inhibiting regulatory roadblocks and potholes in the healthcare system.  Learn why Jack, not much of beer drinker himself hangs a bottle of Guinness on his chemo infusion rack and speaker’s podium. Using business communications and research skills from his career as a Wall Street Research Analyst in Information Technology (IT) and career Sales VP in IT, he now helps bridge the communications gap between life sciences, medical professionals and patients as a Patient Advocate, Research Advocate and Legislative Advocate.

Read his blog >

Jack’s daughter Patti also provides insight into her and her father’s experience.

“So this is what we do, we remain hopeful.” 

Read Patti’s blog >

“Dear Cancer,

Stop picking on my Dad.  You are messing with the  wrong guy.  He doesn’t deserve this.  He is fighting so hard and you are relentless.  Ease up would ya? Stop hurting him. Stop hurting my family.”

 Read Patti’s new blog about her dad’s fight with cancer

Richard Heimler Abbott

Richard Heimler was only 44 when he was diagnosed with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). And as treatment after treatment failed, the diagnosis felt like a death sentence… until his physician had Richard tested with the Vysis ALK test. Richard’s Vysis ALK status confirmed that he qualified for a new clinical trial studying a highly targeted biomarker-based drug therapy (later approved by the FDA in August 2011). Suddenly, Richard gained a new lease on life. Watch the video to see his amazing story.  

In honor of the 10th anniversary of his initial lung cancer diagnosis, survivor Richard Heimler turned the negative into a positive perspective on life.


Pathologist perspective: the power of companion diagnosticsVentana

This is the true story of a pathologist who learned the real value of diagnostics through an unlikely breast cancer patient: her own mother. Watch this inspiring video to learn how a HER2 test, a HER2-positive diagnosis, and a personalized therapy came together to extend and improve a family’s life.