The Gathering of Kindness aims to bring together folks dedicated to building, nurturing and instilling a culture of kindness throughout the healthcare system. It is a perfect place for me to launch my book.
I wrote a book of stories of my life lived in health care and many of those stories highlight kindnesses I have experienced as the mom of a son with a disability and as a cancer patient. I firmly believe that positive staff engagement in their work is crucial to patient and family centred care.
Melbourne holds a special place in my heart, even if it is 13,000 kilometres away from my home in Vancouver Canada.
I wrote a piece about why Melbourne is so special to me two years ago for the Gathering of Kindness blog. It has to do with my relationship with Dr. Catherine Crock, who lives in Melbourne, is a physician at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne and a proponent of the humanities in health care. She’s also been a force behind my book, encouraging me the past few years to get this (damn) book written.
I have another story about Australia, one I’m reluctant to tell, as it contains a tinge of ‘first world problem’. But here goes: After I came back from Australia in 2011, I promised my husband and son that we would return one day together. Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef – before it disappears – has been on my husband’s bucket list forever.
We saved and saved and booked an epic trip to Australia for March 2017. I was then diagnosed with breast cancer on February 6, 2017 and scheduled for surgery on February 20. We had to cancel our entire trip. I even asked my breast surgeon – could I still go to Australia – and she laughed and shook her head, knowing better than I did what recover from surgery would be like and the challenges getting medical insurance during active cancer treatment.
I remember our son Aaron bursting into tears when we told him we couldn’t go on our greatly-anticipated trip. It was so disappointing. Stupid cancer.
This book launch at the Gathering of Kindness is a do-over for us. This time I’m staying away from the doctor until after we get back (I’m only half-kidding). I’m thankful for the opportunity to launch my book at this wonderful event.
Ps: If are you are interested in hosting a Bird’s Eye View launch at your hospital in your city, please be in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m available for Canadian and US travel and will be in the UK in March 2020.