The Optimisticc team is supported through the Cancer Grand Challenges initiative. Learn more here

Patient & Public Information

The OPTIMISTICC Patient Advocate team is a diverse group from North American and Europe, with a wide range of backgrounds, professions, and interests. The one thing that we all have in common is a very personal link to colorectal cancer. Most of us are survivors, and we include within our number some Stage 4 survivors. We are united in our commitment to trying to identify the cause of this cancer, to eliminate the disease, and to take the luck out of existing diagnoses and treatments.

Every Patient Advocate is aligned with and embedded into one of the OPTIMISTICC research work packages. Our specific contribution is to ensure that research being undertaken focuses on the benefit it may bring to those who may be diagnosed with bowel cancer in the future.

Areas of research

Our projects are divided into Work Packages (WP), each focusing on a specific research objective related to colorectal cancer and the microbiome.

Meet the Patient Advocates

Each of us has extremely interesting and amazing back stories of our journeys through diagnosis, treatment and recovery of colorectal cancer, and it is this unique experience that we bring to each of the Optimisticc work packages.  Many of us are also involved in various other Bowel Cancer Foundations and research activities, including the ‘Blue Hat and Bow Tie Foundation’ founded by Candace Henley, the Washington Colon Cancer Stars founded by Anita Mitchell Isler, Colorectal Cancer Canada led by Barry Starr, Europacolon Spain led by Carlos Hue, and more!  Please take a look at our bios for more information.

Patient Advocates


Overwhelmed by terminology?  Check out our glossary or hover your cursor over highlighted glossary terms as you read, and the glossary definition will appear.