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Here's news and info about three primary blood cancers, Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia with a decided patient's perspective.  I hope this helps whether you're newly diagnosed or veteran survivor.  

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For a downloadable and printable Adobe .pdf of the Jack's bio, please click here.

Jack Whelan – shorter version bio – Event Speaker Introduction

Jack Whelan is a 7 yr survivor of a rare, incurable blood cancer moving from a career as an IT Research Analyst to Research Advocate. Travel with Jack on an intensely personal and oft-humorous bumpy ride on the road to Personalized Medicine still under construction while he is treated for a rare, not-yet-curable blood cancer. Encounter some relapsed/refractory detours, conflicting signals and biomarkers, inhibiting regulatory roadblocks and potholes in the healthcare system.  Learn why Jack, not much of beer drinker himself hangs a bottle of Guinness on his chemo infusion rack and speaker’s podium.  Using business communications and research skills from his career as a Wall Street Research Analyst in Information Technology (IT) and career Sales VP in IT, he now helps bridge the communications gap between life sciences, medical professionals and patients as a Patient Advocate, Research Advocate and Legislative Advocate.

Jack hopes all of us appreciate the value and noble work of life sciences employees and companies involved in cancer research and care.  A decided friend to BioPharma as an engaged, informed e-Patient Opinion Leader (POL) and advocate he regularly speaks to and for these companies, to open much-needed, lines of communications with patients, providers and policymakers.  

He encourages all patients to explore novel targeting agents 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. He is a frequent keynote speaker and participant at the best life sciences industry and advocacy conferences in the Americas and Europe sharing his engaging, gripping, hopeful and fun story about survival and suggestions for improvement.

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

Longer bio:

Jack Whelan is a 7 yr survivor of a rare, not-yet-curable blood cancer moving from a career IT Research Analyst to Research Advocate.  In Advocacy he’s an active with AACR, ASCO, DIA, LLS, RDLA, NORD, NIH’s NCTN, ACRES and others and frequent speaker and participant in Life Sciences conferences.  

He lives in Andover MA with his wife Jan, has three ‘fabulous’ daughters and sons-in-law and proud grandparents of four twin-grandchildren including twin granddaughters and twin boy and girl another granddaughter and recently a grandson.  Diagnosed in early 2007 with an active Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia, a rare lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma for which there is no cure yet, Jack has participated in six Clinical Trials at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, (DFCI) in Boston, MA and Londonderry, NH.  He is also treated at Brigham & Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston.          

As an effective e-Patient/Research Advocate, Jack’s message to patients is to explore novel targeting molecular agents available in Clinical Trials; when coupled with genetic and genomic information and diagnostics these could be a safer and more effective than conventional chemotherapy.  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 helps IWMF with fundraising; he is IWMF’s New England Support Group Leader for patients and caregivers, 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 and he’s presented at local LLS’ support groups.  He received the LLS’ 2014 Quality of Life 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. 

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).   More recently 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 serves on the Institute’s Patient Advisory Committee on the Epic EMR system upgrade program now underway.

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 is a speaker at AACR’s 2015 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 ’15.  Jack has been an event speaker for and is a strong supporter of AACR Foundation.  Jack is interviewed and his family is featured his family in the video series About Clinical Trials sponsored by American Cancer Society (ACS) and Genentech.  

He is also active with the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and completed the Research Advocacy Network Focus on Research Scholars in conjunction with the ASCO 2013 Conference and ASCO’s Patient Advocacy Education Program in 2015. 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 2013.  With the Rare Disease Legislative Advocacy (RDLA) and National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) he helps educate Federal lawmakers about much-needed legislation that encourages more effective, efficient and up-to-date healthcare policies.  Jack is Co-Chair of the Research Advocacy Council of the Alliance for Clinical Research Excellence and Safety (ACRES).

As a career Research Analyst, Jack understands the value and noble work of Life Science enterprises involved in cancer research and care.  A decided friend to biotech and the pharmaceutical industry, as an engaged, informed advocate he regularly speaks directly to and for these companies, to open much needed, new lines of communications with patients.   Jack was one of four patients whose story was featured at Genentech’s  Volunteer Give Back Day ’14  on stage for an audience of 20,000 and for Pfizer’s Value of Medicine ad campaign.   

Described as "a one man band with a loud drum to engage and motivate others", with a busy 2015 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.  His website is Jack-Whelan.com  His story is featured in the AACR Q4 issue of Cancer Today Magazine, the AACR Cancer Progress Report 2014, Pharmaphorum, and eyeforpharma.   

Email: Jack@Jack-Whelan.com    Telephone: 617 820 5145


Jack Whelan portrait photo