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Tracey O’Brien: Beautifully told story of two hero’s in childhood cancer as told by Paolo Carniel
Mar 3, 2024, 02:21

Tracey O’Brien: Beautifully told story of two hero’s in childhood cancer as told by Paolo Carniel

Tracey O’Brien shared on LinkedIn a post by Paolo Carniel, Manager Strategic Projects at The Executive Connection (TEC), and added:

“Beautifully told story of two hero’s in childhood cancer as told by Paolo Carniel. I would add yourself to that hero list Paolo! Parents, partners, carers, family and community support are all crucial in cancer care. It takes a village.”

Quoting Paolo Carniel’s post:

“In business we talk about implementation and execution of a strategy…for me this photo represents the ultimate example of two leaders of that process. Our oncologist Prof Marshall had a strategy to defeat the three neuroblastoma tumours inside my son’s body. He implemented that strategy knowing full well it would be brutal and put my son through unspeakable trauma. Unfortunately there are no kind alternatives when dealing with childhood cancer. My son executed that strategy with incredible strength, resilience and more than a handful of courage. Most of you know I am a pretty calm person under pressure…however this experience tested me beyond my limits. My son taught me that those limits are only in your head and showed me how to push through them day in day out. Prof taught me to put trust in a strategy where there is no guarantee of success. Calm tenacity. Follow the process knowing there will be many twists and turns. Fluidity, adaptability, flexibility.

Yesterday Prof looked me in the eye and uttered the words we have waited 5.5 years to hear “we consider Zach cured of neuroblastoma”. Objective achieved.

As fantastic as it was to hear those words, cancer has long, invisible and silent tentacles. Whether it’s known medical issues from the toxicity of chemo drugs such as Doxorubicin (aka The Red Devil) and secondary cancers later in life, or unexpected impacts such as bullying of cancer kids (yes you read that right!)….cancer still manages to wreak havoc!

We are incredibly grateful that Zach‘s battle with cancer is over for now. I still want to help Neuroblastoma Australia raise awareness and funds to find kinder treatments and chop those tentacles at the base. Please share my post or donate using the link below!

Thank you to the two leaders in our cancer journey…Prof and my son Zach.”

Donate here.
Source: Tracey O’Brien/LinkedIn and Paolo Carniel/LinkedIn

Dr. Tracey O’Brien is the NSW Chief Cancer Officer and CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW, Australia. Before her current role, Tracey was Director of the Kids Cancer Centre, Sydney Children’s Hospital, and Director of the Transplant & Cellular Therapy Program. Tracey has held numerous high-profile national and international leadership positions, including Advisory Chair, Cancer Australia; V/Chair (Africa, Asia and Australasia) International Centre for Bone Marrow Transplant Research and V/President of the Australian and New Zealand Children’s Oncology Group.

In recognition of her exceptional contributions, Tracey was profiled in 2023 as one of the world’s foremost women in paediatric cancer by the International Society of Paediatric Oncology. In 2019 Tracey was named in the Australian Financial Review’s prestigious Top 10 Women of Influence, winning the Innovation category.

In addition to her medical expertise, Tracey has a Master of Law (Health) and executive MBA and serves as a conjoint Professor in Clinical Medicine (UNSW) and Honorary Professor in Science and Engineering (Macquarie University). Dr. O’Brien remains committed to mentoring the next generation of clinician leaders and maintains an active clinical practice in cancer survivorship at Sydney Children’s Hospital.