Bladder Cancer Canada (BCC) is thrilled to congratulate Dr. Michael A.S. Jewett, Professor of Surgery (Urology) at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and at the University of Toronto, for his appointment to the Order of Canada, as announced last month.
Dr. Jewett was recognized for “his life-saving innovations in surgical oncology and for his advocacy of patient-centred critical care.”
Patient support, which has been a pillar of BCC’s mission since the organization began in 2009, is something that Dr. Jewett holds in high regard and exemplifies in his practice.
For BCC co-founders and bladder cancer survivors David Guttman and Jack Moon, Dr. Jewett’s intuitive knowledge of patient care quickly became instrumental in helping BCC to become the first and only Canadian patient advocacy organization dedicated to bladder cancer issues.
The need for an organization like Bladder Cancer Canada surfaced when David was first diagnosed with bladder cancer and receiving medical treatment from Dr. Jewett in Toronto, Ontario. He shared with Dr. Jewett his feelings of isolation as a result of being diagnosed with a cancer that, at the time, very little was known about. His plea for help had a lasting effect on Dr. Jewett, who would eventually connect David with another bladder cancer patient also looking for support – and so began what would become the Peer Support Volunteer Program at BCC; a foundational program of bladder cancer patients helping each other. (Read more about the program here).
From there, Dr. Jewett would continue to help shape BCC into the organization that it has become today – inviting David to a number of bladder cancer events across Canada and in the U.S. His introductions of David, as well as Jack, to various doctors, hospitals, medical teams and pharmaceutical companies across Canada would lead to BCC’s first patient meetings and conferences, pharmaceutical grants and the awareness walk, which Dr. Jewett always attended. This walk gradually grew over the years, eventually taking place in more than 20 cities across Canada and raising $600,000 annually for BCC’s programs and services that are offered free of charge to the bladder cancer community.
David and Jack have referred countless bladder cancer patients, especially those with complicated cases, to Dr. Jewett – including BCC board member Valerie MacLeod. “He is the doctor that I flew across Canada to see for five years because he wanted to pursue treatments instead of removing my bladder,” says Valerie. “The cancer never came back and ten years later I am still healthy and thankful for his care.”
Dr. Jewett would also become involved with BCC from the technical side of things, offering his son’s expertise and services in the development of BCC’s very first website, which also included an unexpected result – the creation of an online discussion forum; another one of BCC’s foundational programs. Dr. Jewett’s son, Gordon, who was also a Canadian Olympic athlete, would continue to volunteer for BCC for a number of years. (You can find Jack and Valerie on the online forum here). In addition, Dr. Jewett helped recruit members of the medical community for BCC’s Medical Advisory and Research Boards and identified a need in the medical field for a database that could be used to track various cancers and their treatments. Through his efforts, the Canadian Bladder Cancer Information System (CBCIS) was created, which now has 14 cancer centres participating and more than 5,000 patients enrolled.
“No one has ever come to the table quite like Dr. Jewett,” says David. “With a lot of hard work, Bladder Cancer Canada would have no doubt continued on our successful trajectory, but because of Dr. Jewett’s assistance, we were able to accomplish so much so quickly, easily and professionally. We are tremendously grateful for his contributions to not just our bladder cancer community, but to cancer patients across Canada and around the world.”
BCC sincerely thanks Dr. Jewett for his work to help improve the lives of cancer patients everywhere – and we congratulate him once again on this important and well-deserved appointment to the Order of Canada.
More on Dr. Jewett:
Dr. Jewett has also assisted in the development of two other patient organizations – Kidney Cancer Canada and Testicular Cancer Canada. These organizations are also working diligently to support patients and raise awareness across Canada.
Dr. Jewetts has also influenced other national and international organizations in the cancer field, including the National Cancer Institute of Canada, the Kidney Cancer Research Network of Canada, and the International Kidney Cancer Coalition.
Dr. Jewett was recently recognized for Exceptional Leadership in Patient Involvement in Cancer Research from the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance, an alliance that encompasses all fields of cancer research in Canada.