Grace Gawler - Helping You Navigate the Cancer Maze

Another extraordinary day at the Grace Gawler Institute

On a normal morning at the Grace Gawler Institute headquarters in Tasmania.

It’s 8am. Independent cancer navigator and patient advocate, Grace Gawler, is on a Video Consultation Call with a new patient (MX) who lives halfway across the country.

‘MX’ has recurrent stage IV pancreatic cancer and has been told; ‘there is nothing more we can do’ – ‘get your affairs in order.’

Translated – the Gold Standard of Cancer Care in our hospitals has little to offer stage IV patients – especially pancreatic cancer.

Prior to the consultation, Independent Navigator Grace, has reviewed MX’s medical records, x-rays and scans. Grace is well briefed and has explored possible treatment options.

MX immediately begins to benefit from Grace’s 49+ years of cancer service

Not long into the session, MX utters the words we hear so often; “I wish found you earlier.”

Predictably; in response to the navigator’s line of forensic questioning, ‘MX’ will say; nobody has asked such thorough questions about my medical history before.”

As they proceed, it is not unusual to witness a profound transformation. MX’s hard etched worry and anxiety wrinkles will literally begin to disappear as it dawns to her she may have a second chance at life.

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Navigator Grace outlines a range of potential treatment options; however; to identify the targeted treatments with certainty, a genomics diagnostic test is recommended. This is hi-tech stuff; used overseas but not so much in AU and NZ.

A plan is formulated and put into action; beginning the moment the consult finishes.

The genomic test is arranged and dialogues commence with potential oncology practitioners, including some in countries overseas; scans and reports are sent on and discussed. Truely hi-tech cancer medicine.

The navigator knows that the timing and sequencing of treatments substantially value-adds to patient outcomes. She will need to apply her skills coordinating and managing the treatments.

Bridge to Hope

MX, in a Video Call session, had gone from ‘months to live’, to being offered the chance of accessing high-tech targeted treatments; precision cancer medicine.

MX, came to the institute for a second opinion and gained a second chance at life.

Judging by the tally of successful patient outcomes already facilitated; our Cancer Survivorship Action Plan will likely extend MX’s life. Indeed – a remission is not out of the question.

Remarkably; this was just another ordinary but quite extraordinary day at the Grace Gawler Institute.