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Here's to parties, hugs and choices in 2021!

Dear Be the Choice Community,

We write to wish you all a (slightly belated) Happy New Year. May 2021 be filled with speedy vaccination schedules and more, well, parties! We also wanted to write to update you on the newest at BTC. 

First, some BIG news. Our Executive Director and Co-Founder, Dr. Melanie Adrian, has been awarded the Order of Ontario! The Order of Ontario is the province’s highest civilian honour. Melanie is receiving this honour for her commitment to social justice issues, including Be the Choice. Did you know we've reached over 20,000 people with Be the Choice's website?! Melanie is also receiving this honour because she spearheaded the expansion of the Scholars at Risk Network in Canada (www.scholarsatrisk.org) which advocates for academic freedom and protects at-risk scholars around the world. 

You can read more about Melanie's accomplishments here, and check out the full list of winners here

Continue reading for more updates on an upcoming study by students of the University of Ottawa, a COVID-19 update, resources that have been added to our decision trees, recent events, and the details on our NEW Instagram account (@BTC.DecisionTree)!!

xoxo,
The Be the Choice Team
 

Congratulations Melanie on this well-deserved honour! We hope for many more successes in 2021 as we continue our work to inform breast cancer patients of their treatment options.

20,000
(that's how many people we have reached)

 

Have you heard about our new study?

Three medical students that University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine, Selam Ogbalidet (MD 2022), Mina Boshra (MD 2022), and Melanie Grondin (MD/PhD), are spearheading a pilot study that evaluates the usefulness of the Be the Choice (BTC) Decision Trees for patients with breast cancer who are undergoing breast reconstruction. 

Alongside Dr. Jing Zhang, staff plastic surgeon at the Ottawa Hospital, and research assistants Husain Alkhaiyat and Jeanne Seguin, their team will administer several questionnaires to assess patient self-advocacy, breast cancer knowledge, and patient satisfaction with surgery and breast reconstruction. Thereafter, patient responses will be analyzed for any trends in the data to support the use of the Decision Trees in the clinical setting. 

In addition to Dr. Zhang, TOH plastic surgeons Dr. Gloria Rockwell and Dr. Simon Frank will assist with recruitment of study participants from their respective practices. Patients eligible for inclusion in the study include those aged 18 years and older who have received a first-time breast cancer diagnosis; are undergoing breast reconstruction surgery by one of the aforementioned TOH plastic surgeons; and have the ability to comprehend and speak the English language. 

The team is excited to get the study underway and looks forward to sharing their results with the BTC community as they become available.

A Note on COVID-19... 

COVID-19 has been with us for almost a year....
Click here to read our thoughts on it all.

New Resources added to Decision Trees

Be the Choice is thrilled to announce the addition of over fifty new resources to the Decision Trees. This provides patients with even more information on their treatment pathways. 

We know first hand what it's like to be diagnosed with breast cancer and what it feels like to make decisions about treatment when you're just trying to wrap your head around the diagnosis. We understand the confusion and feeling of being lost as you attempt to navigate this new, scary world of breast cancer.

We also know that everyone learns differently and for some, text-heavy web pages are less than ideal. This is why we've focused on adding video content to support users who are visual learners. 


We would like to thank Salem Ogbalidet, Mina Boshra, Hussain Alkhaiyat, and Jeanne Monique Séquin for their dedication to this project. Without you, this would not have been possible. Thank you all for being so amazing!

Head over to the Decision Trees page today to check out the new resources and learn more!

Follow our new Instagram @BTC.DecisionTree!!

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Thank you Tau Sigma Phi !!


On January 20th, Be the Choice had the privilege of joining our community partner, the Tau Sigma Phi for their annual rush event. Tau Sigma Phi has been a valued partner of Be the Choice for many years. They have helped us raise critical funding and volunteer labour!

Following this, in February, Tau Sigma Phi hosted a month-long fundraising campaign for Be the Choice, and raised a total of $2,118.31!!!

Thank you Tau Sigma Phi for being AMAZING as always, and contributing to the organization in all the ways that you do!! We are looking forward to all that this partnership will bring in 2021, and wish you all the best with your personal endeavours this year! <3 

$2,118.31
Raised!!!

 

Holiday Hunt Wrap Up


On January 1st, we wrapped up our first ever Facebook giveaway, the Holiday Hunt! Congratulations to our four winners, and a huge THANK YOU to all of our participants, and sponsors! Without your support, this event would not have been possible - you rock!! Now that this event is wrapped up, stay tuned for more events and opportunities in 2021!

In Case you Missed it!


Be the Choice is honoured to be featured as one of the first Clinician and Patient Resources on the Canadian Society of Surgical Oncology website. We are delighted to be included on this list. Check it out! 

Huge thank you to Dr. Carrolyn Nessim for making this happen!

Questions?

For all questions, please contact us at THIS email. Be the Choice depends on volunteer energy, so let us know if you're looking for an opportunity!

Thank you! 

Love, 
The Be the Choice Team
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202 Northwestern Ave.
Ottawa, ON K1Z 0M3
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