Colleen Shaffer, Founder and Executive Director of Circle of Hope, Inc. was the guest speaker at the GI LT Creating the Vision Fall Summit 2009 held at Hotel Nikko in San Francisco on November 16, 2009.
After 7 ½ years Colleen may be the longest living breast cancer patient using Xeloda, a pill form of chemotherapy, as the drug is only 10 years old.
Pictured above: Colleen Shaffer (left) accepts a donation on behalf of Circle of Hope Inc. from Judy Penman's Woman of the Year fund at the KHTS Community Resource station at the Westfield Valencia Town Center.
Genentech, considered the founder of the biotechnology industry, was recently purchased by Roche Group, one of the world's leading research-focused healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics and chose to use the summit to learn more about the drugs Roche manufactures, including Xeloda.
"Xeloda allowed me to dream...and with this drug, I have been able to create a vision of hope for others," said Shaffer.
That vision of hope for breast cancer patients was made into a reality for her community in 2004, when she created Circle of Hope, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) regional nonprofit organization that provides emotional support and financial assistance for medical expenses to uninsured and underinsured individuals with breast cancer that live, work or receive treatment in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Colleen believes that she is a pioneer in bridging society's misconceptions of cancer patients with the reality of advancements in medical treatment. Her passionate belief that metastatic breast cancer is not to be considered a death sentence, but a chronic disease, inspires other patients to look forward with optimism. Never did she realize, when first embarking on her own treatment, that her vision for hope would become her destiny to assist other breast cancer patients.
Todd Pierce, CIO of Genentech, concluded the Creating the Vision Fall Summit stating "Colleen put her passion into action and we should all learn from her."