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Community Advocates

In order to stay up to date on the latest treatments, drug discovery, clinical studies, and how to cope with bladder cancer every day, BladderCancer.net brings you frequent articles, blogs, opinions, and advice from leading patient advocates and professional medical experts.

Current advocates

Anita Brown

Anita was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine small cell bladder tumour at age 46. She lives with her husband, Tim, their son, Ashleigh and their fur babies: Sherlock the dog, Ollie, Fuggers & Moma Cat the cats, and not forgetting Barney the bunny. Read more.

Scott Carroll

Scott was diagnosed with papillary urothelial carcinoma in November 2017 at age 54. Two TURBTs revealed he had a high-grade tumor that took up about half the space inside his bladder. Based largely on the size of the tumor, he was told his chance of recurrence was high so he chose to be aggressive. Read more.

Noel Forrest

My name is Noel Forrest, I am 50 years old and was diagnosed in April, 2017 with high grade pT1 transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder...I now as a result of my fight against cancer, want to help those suffering from this disease. My approach to life is to grab opportunities when I can and never regret decisions made. Read more.

Katie Golden

Katie is joining BladderCancer.net for a special project called “Diary of a Caregiver.” In 2016, her grandfather was diagnosed with bladder cancer and later had his bladder removed. Read more.

Crystal Hartranft

My passions in life include being an aunt, spending time with my family, cooking, traveling and endlessly browsing the aisles of independently owned bookstores. I’ve been a national account manager for a mental health hospital for several years now and love being able to help families find treatment for their loved ones. Read more.

Paul Hebert

Diagnosed September, 2012 with multiple tumor, Stage 2 Ta High-grade bladder cancer. Neoadjuvant chemo and then radical cystectomy/prostatectomy January, 2013. Neobladder. Continent (never thought I’d have to put that in a bio… go figure.) Read more.

Christina Hegarty, PT, DPT

Dr. Christina Hegarty, PT, DPT, is a doctor of physical therapy currently licensed and practicing in Mississippi. Christina is a native of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where she was born and raised. She obtained her bachelor degree in exercise science from the University of Mississippi in 2011 and her doctorate degree in physical therapy from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 2014. After finishing school, Christina worked as a traveling physical therapist in Texas and Pennsylvania, when she met her husband, who is also a physical therapist. Read more.

Liz Hiles

Liz was diagnosed with Stage IV, non-metastatic bladder cancer with a T4 Tumor in August 2016 just 3 months short of turning 41. Single, childfree and without parent or sibling support, she learned to navigate treatment and survivorship with the love and support of friends, extended family and even coworkers. Read more.

Mac Howard

I am 55 now. A 13 year survivor of Bladder cancer. That said, I am so much more. I am a husband of 34 years (lucky woman), a father of 3, a foster father of 19, a coach and supporter of more things than I can count. I have been a volunteer firefighter. Read more.

Renata Louwers

Renata Louwers is a writer, speaker, and bladder cancer patient advocate. She lost her first husband, Ahmad Khoshroo, to bladder cancer in 2014. She has published essays about the cancer patient and caregiver experience in STATnews.com, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Stanford Scope blog, among others. Read more.

Nick Myers

Nick Myers, or “Dr. Nick” as people affectionately call him, is currently a Medical Care Coordinator (MCM). He received his B.A. in Psychology from Old Dominion University, his M.A. in Human Sexuality & Health Studies from New York University and his Ph.D. from Widener University in Human Sexuality Education. He has written sexual health education materials and articles, created informational videos and even co-hosted an online radio show on sexual health in relationships. Read more.

Shirley Norris

Hi, my name is Shirley, I’m 56 and live in the North West of England. I have been married to my husband, Mike for over 36 years. We have 2 grown up sons who both live in the Netherlands. Read more.

Alison Petok, MSW, LCSW, MPH

Alison Petok is an oncology social worker; she received her Master in Social Work and Master in Public Health from the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked in oncology research and currently serves as a clinical social worker in the Department of Medical Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University. Read more.

Rebecca Palpant-Shimkets

Rebecca Palpant Shimkets is a two-time thyroid cancer survivor and the daughter of two cancer survivors. Fourteen of her immediate family members have experienced cancer. She was 29 years old at the time of her first diagnosis and experienced a recurrence just four years later. Rebecca has a 20-year career in mental health focusing initially on the assessment and treatment of mental illnesses. Read more.

Brittney Tellekamp

Brittney Tellekamp is a wife, corgi mom and project manager for Georgia State Parks. She was diagnosed July 25, 2019 with Stage IV Metastatic Bladder Cancer at the age of 28. Read more.

Linda Urbanski

Linda Urbanski is the mother of 3 beautiful daughters and grandmother to 5 grandsons and 1 granddaughter, all of whom live in parts of Ohio. She is also a bladder cancer survivor. Read more.

Sarah Watts

Sarah Watts is a freelance writer who lives with her husband and two children in the Chicago suburbs. read more.

Guy Wheatley

Guy Wheatley grew up as a military dependent living on or near military bases until age thirteen. He started junior high school in his family hometown of Gillett Arkansas where his father taught him to hunt and fish. He played football in high school and held farm related jobs during the summers throughout high school and college. He also spent one summer as deck crew on a Mississippi River tow boat. Read more.

Lucius Wisniewski

Lucius Wisniewski is a freelance illustrator and cartoonist who lives in the suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two children. Cancer began affecting his family in January 2017, when his wife Sarah Watts was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Read more.

Former Advocates

Jim Van Horne

Jim Van Horne has been one of the most prominent sports commentators in Canada for over 30 years. Next to his marriage and the birth of his kids, Jim’s biggest accomplishment has been surviving bladder cancer. Read more.

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