Joan Moore and Jacqueline Daly are members of the Irish Society of Gynaecological Oncology Public and Patient Involvement Group (ISGOPPI) and also recipients of the Laura Brennan Award for Advocacy and PPI in 2019 and 2020 respectively. Laura herself had received the inaugural award in Belfast in 2018 for her massive contribution in raising awareness of the importance of the HPV cancer-prevention vaccine and we remember her fondly as we approach her 2nd anniversary on 20th March; #ThankYouLaura Joan received the award in 2019 and has tirelessly campaigned and advocated for better services for those with cancer as well as increasing awareness of ovarian cancer symptoms. At one of the first meetings with clinicians, Joan bravely agreed to share her story and explain why she wanted to use her experience to improve services and outcomes for others. She went on to join the NCCP guidelines committee for ovarian cancer diagnosis where herself and Valarie Timmons provided their valuable experience to shape the guidelines that were issued.
“I attended the first meeting of the ISGOPPI and immediately felt I was in a room full of ladies who had the same thing in common that is, improving doctor and patient relationships in our gynae clinics. I was honoured to be asked to be a patient rep on the NCCP guidelines Committee along with Valerie Timmons. It was a learning curve and I was very proud when these were launched and distributed to the various Hospitals throughout the Country.”
Jacqueline received the award in 2020. Jacqueline co-founded East Galway & Midlands Cancer Support in 2012 and is now Director of Services, as well as a patient advocate and campaigner, bringing awareness to local and national government agencies. She is an active member of the ISGOPPI and patient representative on the board of the Society of Sexual Medicine Ireland. She is also secretary of the board of the European Cancer Patients Coalition (ECPC). Both Jacqueline and her husband Mike had cancer and know, both as carers and as patients, how important proper support and information is. The Cancer Patients voice must be heard.
The ISGOPPI was co-founded by Yvonne O’Meara and Dr Sharon O’Toole in 2016 to build a partnership between the society and patients/public. ISGOPPI is a dynamic group of individuals who have been directly impacted by a gynaecological cancer or have a special interest within this area of health care. The ISGO realised the importance of including the Patient and Public voice in the full continuum of cancer care; from prevention to diagnosis, treatment, post treatment, living with and beyond cancer and palliation. The group have had many achievements including; representation on national guidelines committees, publication of patient led research, members of the European organization ESGO Engage which is an umbrella for gynaecological cancer advocacy groups in Europe, feedback on research studies and influencing change through the Irish Cancer Society Women’s Health Initiative. The group meet several times a year and try and coordinate with clinical meetings to enable transfer of knowledge between clinicians and patients.