Childhood cancer survivor -- now clinical nurse -- helps, encourages kids with cancer

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120726Shelby.jpgShelby Robin speaks to her "12-year-old self"

Shelby Robin was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma at age 12. An athletic child, she continued to participate in sports and cheerleading, even after the cancer necessitated the amputation of her left foot.

Now a clinical nurse in the Children's Cancer Hospital at MD Anderson, Shelby is a featured speaker at the 24th annual Anderson Network Cancer Survivorship Conference Sept. 14-15 at the Omni Westside, 13210 Katy Freeway.

In this video, she gives advice to her 12-year-old self.

She also explains how her childhood experience with cancer led her to choose a career helping other children facing life-threatening illnesses.

"As a nurse, I hope to show these kids that when I say, 'I understand,' I truly do understand. I hope that for them I can be a sort of 'light at the end of the tunnel,'" she says.

Shelby's inspirational story will wrap up the conference, which is open to all those who want to learn more about the issues cancer survivors face, meet and share with other survivors, take wellness classes and have fun.

Thanks to MD Anderson, sponsors and individual donors, the cost of the conference is just $50 for early registrants, which includes all meals, activities and self-parking.

Registration is available online until Sept. 7. After that, participants may pay $60 at the door on the day of the conference.

Speakers, breakout sessions, medical panel

The conference includes nearly two dozen informative breakout sessions, including:
  • risks and benefits of vitamin and mineral supplements for cancer patients,
  • managing treatment side effects,
  • issues of young adult survivors,
  • the healing power of journaling, and  
  • making the most of your medicines during cancer care.
Violinist and cancer survivor Treesa Gold will provide entertainment at the banquet on Sept. 14.
Other keynote speakers are Richard Lee, M.D., medical director of the Integrative Medicine Program, and author, activist and ovarian cancer survivor Susan Garrett Baker, wife of former secretary of state James A. Baker III.

For more information or to register, check the conference website or call 713-792-2553 in Houston, 800-345-6324 toll free.

The Anderson Network, an organization with support and educational services for patients/survivors, their families and caregivers, is a program of the Department of Volunteer Services.

Read about this topic and much more in the summer issue of Network magazine.

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