Charlie Ewer Smith's Story
Charlie went to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and USA in 2010 to research cancer survivorship programmes and interventions for people living with and beyond cancer.
She wanted to contribute to the development of more meaningful rehabilitative interventions in the lives of individuals who have received a cancer diagnosis, by advocating the movement away from disease surveillance follow-up and towards empowering individuals to manage their own survivorship issues with confidence.
Charlie’s eight-week Fellowship enabled her to meet with over hundred health care professionals dedicated to improving the experience for people living beyond cancer and coping with its impact on their lives. She had the privilege of listening to many people’s personal experiences of living with the effects of cancer.
During her Fellowship, Charlie spent time at four cancer centres in Canada, and the LIVESTRONG Headquarters in Texas, USA. She met clinicians and interviewed people living beyond cancer in New Zealand, and worked with colleagues in five cancer centres in Australia.
On her return, Charlie developed a greater understanding of how to develop meaningful survivorship interventions and acquired greater confidence and assurance in advocating a different approach to cancer care. She worked as the Aftercare Specialist within a service development project which radically changed the support provided to teenagers and young people with cancer.
Through her Fellowship she learned a variety of interventions which can be disseminated through a variety of media in order to improve the experience of the person and those people who are important to them in coping with the impact of cancer, cancer treatment and re-engaging with life after cancer.
Charlie has contributed to the National Cancer Survivorship Initiative and regularly presents at conferences on the importance of addressing the health and wellbeing of people living with the impact of cancer on their lives.
Charlie now works as Therapy Lead for a national service providing rehabilitation to people living with complex late effects of cancer.