Dr. Karen Gelmon, MD FRCPC
- Medical Oncologist, Dept. of Medical Oncology, Vancouver Centre, BCCA
- Chair BCC/UBC Research Ethics Board, Experimental Therapeutics, Dept. of Medical Oncology, BCCA
- Professor, Medicine, University of British Columbia
Dr. Kelly Shanahan
In 2008, Kelly Shanahan had everything going for her: a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the University of Virginia School of Medicine, she had a busy and successful ob-gyn practice in South Lake Tahoe, CA; a precocious 9 year old daughter; and a well used passport from traveling all over the world with her family to attend conferences, with a liberal dose of vacation on the side. When she was diagnosed with stage IIB breast cancer in April, she considered it a mere bump in the road; after all, she returned to work two weeks after her bilateral mastectomy and continued to work all through the four months of chemo.
And for five years, breast cancer was an aside, something to put in the past medical history section of forms. Even when she developed sudden back pain, Kelly never thought it could be breast cancer rearing its ugly head – a pulled muscle, a herniated disc maybe, but not what it turned out to be: metastatic breast cancer in virtually every bone in her body, with a fractured vertebrae and an about to break left femur. Kelly was diagnosed on her 53rd birthday.
Kelly has been extremely lucky, for after an unconventional 14 month course of combination IV chemo and zometa, followed by a more conventional aromatase inhibitor, she has remained NEAD – No Evidence of Active Disease — since April 2014. Neuropathy from the chemo did cost her her career, but she has found a new purpose in advocacy. Kelly is a volunteer for METAvivor; past medical director of METUP; a member of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance; and a consumer reviewer for the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program. She says she will fight for more research funding for the already metastasized patient until her dying breath. Her current goals are to get five more stamps in her passport; celebrate her 25th wedding anniversary in January 2020 at The French Laundry; and to see her daughter graduate from college in May 2020. If she makes those goals, she’ll come up with another three!
Kelly is thrilled to be helping her friends up north improve the lives for metastatic breast cancer patients in Canada.
Kelly Shanahan is a mother, a wife, a daughter, a doctor, a woman LIVING with metastatic breast cancer.
Metastatic Breast Cancer Advocacy Canada
- MBC Canada Website – Development & Hosting Grant
- San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium 2017 & 2018 Travel Grants