Shawna is a passionate and innovative patient advocate and educator. Since 2011, she has been at Rethink Breast Cancer providing leadership and using her clinical expertise to create and administer support and educational programs in oncology that have a national reach and global interest. She has presented at international conferences on a variety of psychosocial oncology related topics including; innovative models of peer support, talking to children about cancer and end of life care decision planning.
Shawna graduated with a BA in Psychology from McMaster University and is certified as a Child Life Specialist by the Child Life Council in the United States. She is currently in the process of obtaining her Master’s in Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University. Prior to Rethink Breast Cancer, she worked in outreach and counselling with children, youth and families in helping them to cope with adversity and transitional events that impact their daily lives at Kids Help Phone and Bereaved Families of Ontario.
Currently, her focus is on Rethink’s ability to run rewarding programs while leading new advocacy initiatives—including programming, tools and resources that address the unique needs of young adults living with metastatic disease and their caregivers. A social innovator, in 2015, Shawna co-founded and continues to grow the Rethink Young Women’s Network – an active online patient community that is changing the way cancer patients are supported, educated and empowered throughout their cancer journey.