At the recent American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, Colin Ferro, Director of Operations at Epic Experience, spoke with Oncology Data Advisor about the organization's mission to empower adult cancer survivors and thrivers beyond their diagnosis and treatment.
This podcast episode was recorded live at the 2022 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago by Oncology Data Advisor and ConveyMed.
Oncology Data Advisor: Welcome to Oncology Data Advisor, I'm Keira Smith. Today, I'm here at the ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago, speaking with Colin Ferro from Epic Experience. Thank you so much for joining us.
Mr. Ferro: Thank you for having me.
Our mission is to empower adult cancer survivors and thrivers beyond their cancer diagnosis."by Author
Oncology Data Advisor: Would you like to tell us a little bit about Epic Experience and what you do?
Mr. Ferro: So, Epic Experience is a nonprofit based out of Colorado. Really, our mission is to empower adult cancer survivors and thrivers beyond their cancer diagnosis, and we do that through programming. Our Pinnacle Experience is a week-long adventure camp in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, all free to survivors. We do summer and winter. That was what we were founded on.
But since we're now 10 years strong, I like to say, as an organization—it was founded by my mom Nancy, and she and I have run it together side by side all these years—we've really evolved our programming from that Pinnacle weeklong adventure camp to now hosting a podcast of our own called Campfires of Hope. Our newest venture that we're showcasing here at ASCO is our ThriveVR program. During the pandemic, we had to pivot; we had to figure out how to be able to reach the folks that we can't because we can't do our camps right now.
We had that idea five years ago to create custom virtual-reality videos. The pandemic just happened to open it up for us. We created seven custom virtual-reality experiences like we do at our camp. So, one's horseback riding, another you're going to go rafting, and they're 10, 15 minutes long to where cancer survivors can feel empowered through adventure and also be a part of a community in which they feel understood. Our goal is to get those into cancer centers all over the country.
Oncology Data Advisor: That's very interesting. Sounds really great. Anything else you'd like to share about your experience here at ASCO and what you'd like clinicians to know?
Mr. Ferro: It's our first time here. Usually we have a very small team, so not enough resources to come. We just finished our first camp of the year, a couple days ago. With that being said, being here, it's big, it's large, but it's been great just to be once again with people. It's been awesome.
Oncology Data Advisor: Definitely.
Mr. Ferro: But the other side, the fact that we're all coming here trying to connect and improve the patient experience, has just been fantastic. We're over in the advocacy area with all of our nonprofit partners, figuring out how we can all work together and collaborate. We're also finding the different partners, whether it's pharma or hospital systems that want to work with us just to ensure that, guess what, we can make cancer a little bit better for the next person and we're stronger together. It's really come through for me these past few days.
Oncology Data Advisor: We've spoken with a lot of patient advocates here, and I think it's definitely very important to highlight all these tools and make sure we get the information out.
Mr. Ferro: Yeah, for sure.
Oncology Data Advisor: Great. Well, thank you so much for talking with us.
Mr. Ferro: Thank you very much.
Thank you for listening to this podcast recorded live at the 2022 ASCO Annual Meeting by Oncology Data Advisor and ConveyMed. For more expert perspectives on the latest in cancer research and treatment, be sure to subscribe to the podcast at conveymed.io and oncdata.com. Don't forget to follow us on social media for news, exclusive interviews, and more.
About Mr. Ferro
Colin Ferro is the Director of Operations at Epic Experience, a registered 501(c)3 Colorado-based nonprofit that provides adventures for cancer survivors to help them thrive and continue surviving post-remission. Mr. Ferro's passion for the cancer community bloomed when his brother was diagnosed with cancer, and he spent his time caring for him and observing the experiences he went through. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Mr. Ferro has successfully pivoted from having in-person camps, to having virtual camps, so that cancer survivors still have the outlet of Epic Adventures to experience.
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Transcript edited for clarity. Any views expressed above are the speaker's own and do not necessarily reflect those of Oncology Data Advisor.