Jack Whelan is an eight year survivor of a rare, incurable blood cancer moving from a career IT Research Analyst to Research Advocate; he was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of metastatic prostate cancer for which he is in treatment. Travel with Jack on an intensely personal and often humorous bumpy ride on the road to Personalized Medicine which is still under construction as he participates in seven Clinical trials. Using business communications and research skills coming from his career as a Wall Street Research Analyst and career Sales VP in IT, he now helps bridge the communications gap between life sciences, medical professionals and patients.
Jack hopes all appreciate the real value and noble work of life sciences employees and companies involved in cancer research and care. A decided friend to BioPharma and CROs as an engaged, informed e-Patient Opinion Leader (POL) and Advocate he regularly speaks to and for these companies, to open much-needed communications lines with patients, providers and policymakers.
He encourages all patients to explore novel targeting agents and immunotherapies many of which are now in Clinical Trials. Using genetic and genomic information to develop new disease-specific targeted therapeutics might be safer and more effective treatment than conventional chemotherapy.
Jack’s a frequent speaker and participant at the best industry and advocacy conferences in the Americas and Europe sharing his engaging, gripping, hopeful and fun story about survival. Jack understands the realities of his blood cancer as he has repeatedly relapsed and has been refractory to most of the therapies received thus far; however his goal is repeated periods of progression free survival during which the promise of science and delivery of successful therapeutics will be achieved.
His website is located at Jack-Whelan.com
Other information of potential interest:
In advocacy he’s an active member with AACR, ASCO, DIA, LLS, RDLA, NORD, NIH’s NCTN, ACRES and Transcelerate as Patient Advocate focused on Clinical Trials.
He lives in Andover Massachusetts with his wife Jan, has three ‘fabulous’ daughters and sons-in-law and proud grandparents of six grandkids four of whom are twins
He’s an associate member of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), completed the 2013 and 2014 Scientist-Survivor Programs and Science of Cancer Disparities in Research program, featured cover story of AACR’s Cancer Today Magazine, the AACR Annual (2014) Cancer Progress Report and appears in one of AACR’s national network TV fundraising commercials. He was a speaker at AACR’s 2015 and 2016 Annual Meeting. As a strong proponent of rational funding for biomedical research and to convince Congress to make this a national priority he will participate in his third AACR-led Rally for Medical Research this Sept ’16. Jack has been an event speaker for and is a strong supporter of AACR Foundation. He serves on the editorial board of AACR’s Cancer Today Magazine.
He is also active with the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), completed the Research Advocacy Network Focus on Research Scholars in conjunction ASCO’s Patient Advocacy Education Programs in 2013, 2015 and 2106. He serves on ASCO’s Patient Advisory Committee advising and promoting ASCO’s CancerLinQ EHR development programs.
He is also active with and completed the Drug Information Association (DIA) Patient Advocate Fellowship Program in, has produced educational videos & webcasts for DIA.
Jack is a keynote speaker and Co-Chair of the Research Advocacy Council of the Alliance for Clinical Research Excellence and Safety (ACRES) and member of the Patient Advisory Board at Transcelerate, both organizations are strong proponents of improving the Clinical Trials industry.
He’s an active volunteer with the International Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia Foundation (IWMF) a charitable advocacy that provides patient education, support and funds research. He is IWMF’s New England Support Group Leader and a keynote speaker at IWMF’s Annual Educational Patient-Physician Forum.
He's active with Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) as speaker recruiting for LLS’ Team in Training and Light the Night, a First Connection patient advocate; he’s a speaker at local LLS’ support groups. He received the LLS’ 2014 Quality of Life Award and a 2016 Fight Against Blood Cancer Award. As a Legislative Advocate with LLS, he helped convince state lawmakers to pass the much-needed Oral Chemotherapy Parity bill, by participating in lobbying efforts at the state house, writing stories for print and broadcast press, and conducted email and phone call campaigns to help educate lawmakers. He is also a champion for new legislation centered on Biosimilars clarification, Step Therapy and Specialty Tiers bills.
With the Rare Disease Legislative Advocacy (RDLA) and National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) he has appeared before several Congressional delegations; he helps educate Federal lawmakers about much-needed legislation to encourage more funding for biomedical research and effective, efficient & up-to-date healthcare policies.
For the past several years, Jack has been a fundraiser and volunteer spokesman on radio and TV with the Jimmy Fund and Boston Red Sox for the benefit of Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). He is featured in a national TV commercial about his treatment at DFCI. Jack is a former Co-chairman of DFCI's Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC). He served on the Institute’s Patient Advisory Committee on the Epic EMR system upgrade program.
Described as "a one man band with a loud drum to engage and motivate others", with a busy 2016 calendar, you may find Jack speaking at advocacy, healthcare, medical education and Life Sciences professional events around the United States and Europe. Jack is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and United States Navy veteran.