Ms Nicole Kennedy
Nic is a long-time patient advocate & health reform volunteer. She has sat on hospital based clinical governance & steering committees, family/patient forums, participated in senate inquiries, attended scores of clinical conferences, & participated in umpteen education events since 2008. She has been an active & financial member of both national & state based peak health consumer organisations, & combines these activities with one to one, as well as family group/s patient advocacy. She is also the co-founder of a charity advocating for all children & young people diagnosed with cancer, to have access to Whole Genomic Sequencing as part of the ‘standard of care’ upon diagnosis, like their overseas peers. She is appalled that currently, our Australian children are not able to access such testing until they are refractory, palliative, relapsed or have no treatment protocol, when the technology is readily available & affordable.
Nic is also a parent to three children. Her youngest was diagnosed with cancer at age two. While her child is now off ‘treatment’ for cancer, though it has left him with several challenging & debilitating complications (ongoing leg pain; a heart arrythmia; & fatigue, to mention just a few). Prior to having children, Nic completed two undergraduate degrees (Psychology) & worked in consultancy both here in Australia & abroad. Nic regularly bundles her lived experience & professional background in broader cancer care collaboratives contributing to strategic, status quo challenging reform for the Leukaemia Foundation, & Rare Cancer Australia’s ‘National Oncology Alliance’ & the like.
Nic is a passionate advocate for Patient Centred Care in all aspects of health, from research & clinical trials, right through to that research translating to the bedside of folk in primary care, & their local hospitals. She is known to regularly share the adage ‘nothing about us, without us’ in her volunteer work. Nic has many passions, one of which is the emerging area of Cardio-Oncology. She feels that the known harm endured by precious young bodies is unacceptable, & that much more needs to be done to understand, predict & prevent chemo induced cardiomyopathies. This harm is well established in the literature & results in a reduced quality of life for childhood cancer survivors, including unnecessary death, as well as being a significant cost to our healthcare system. Nic also has a special interest in using genomics, AI & pharmacogenomics to help improve the current status quo for childhood cancer survivors. She advocates for children & young people to thrive beyond their outdated, genetically inappropriate & incredibly toxic cancer treatments, not simply survive.