Ok, now I can say it.

For the last five months I have been preparing, drafting, researching, redrafting, writing, practicing, and designing a five-minute presentation I will be giving at a medical conference in mid-September 2016.

And I am nervous as hell. (And my cat is sick of listening to me rehearse.)


Last fall I applied to give an Ignite Talk at the Stanford Medicine X conference (also known as MedX). In a nutshell, MedX is the coolest medical conference in the world, so cool in fact that it gives TEDMED a run for its money.

What’s even cooler is the essence of MedX is that everyone is included in the conference design, including patients. Everyone Included “creates a culture where everyone is trusted and respected for the expertise they bring to the future of health care.”

Of course clinicians and researchers have expertise. But guess what? Us patients and caregivers have a lot to bring to the table as well!

When I heard MedX was accepting proposals for patients to present at the 2016 conference I almost did not apply. I saw my brain tumor friends Charlie Blotner and Steven Keating give fantastic presentations in 2015, and thought they pretty much dropped the mic on all things brain tumors–there was nothing more I could add to the conversation.

But right before the application deadline I was inspired by something going on in my personal life, so applied on a whim. In early 2016 I heard I made the cut. And here I am.

Will you have my back?

Not everyone can make it out to Stanford to see me talk, but guess what? MedX is offering a free livestream of the main stage presentations for the entire 3-day conference.

I highly encourage you to apply to watch all of the fantastic presentations, and tune in to watch me give my talk at 8:55 a.m (Pacific) on Saturday, September 17, 2016. (View the Saturday schedule.)

For five minutes, I will be sharing a deeply personal story about my patient experience. This makes me feel vulnerable, but if you are tuning in to watch, I know you have my back and that’s what really matters.

Thank you.

P.S. I remember watching the 2015 livestream when Charlie Blotner gave their talk. I was so proud of Charlie… and now here I am doing the same thing. Maybe you will be presenting in 2017.