The Dr. Sharlyn Kang
Radiation Oncology Program at ICAN
Friends and Family Share Their Memories
In Loving Tribute to Dr. Sharlyn Kang
Dr. Sharlyn Kang was one of the top leaders at the Exon 20 Group at ICAN (the International Cancer Advocacy Network) and was a mainstay of Patient Services.
To honor her, ICAN is naming our major radiation oncology program services in her beloved memory. The goal of the Kang Program will be to connect patients with radiation oncology opinions at key pivot points in the patient journey which couldp enhance quality of life and survival.
She was much loved by all of us, and leaves behind broken hearts among the many patients, families, clinicians, and oncology nurses that she helped and interacted with for the past four years.
I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting Sharlyn at the 2019 IASLC World Lung Cancer Conference in Barcelona. As a prominent radiation oncologist practicing in Australia, Sharlyn was a powerhouse of ever-resourceful strategic advice. We had fun "working the room" and connecting with Exon 20 Group clinician and pharma members who have become integral to our mission and programs.
With Sharlyn's formidable knowledge of radiation oncology, medical oncology, and internal medicine, the patients, spouses, and care partners who were assigned to Sharlyn as their "Angel Buddy" greatly benefitted. Behind her sweet and modest demeanor, Sharlyn was a true force of nature and was for years one of our right hands in working to connect with additional industry partners and clinicians throughout Asia. She was absolutely tenacious about the goal of bringing to Australia every exon 20 drug possible.
Our deepest condolences from all of us at the Exon 20 Group and ICAN to Sharlyn's beloved husband Adrian, and her cherished children Ava and Anara, parents, sister Julia, and her many friends and professional colleagues who join with all of us—from multiple continents—as we mourn her passing.
Exon 20 Group
May 2, 2021
My wife, Dr Sharlyn Kang, lost her five-year battle with lung cancer just days after reaching her 40th birthday in April this year. She was a staff specialist in radiation oncology at the Illawarra Cancer Care Centre and served the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District out of Wollongong Hospital and the Shoalhaven District Memorial Hospital.
Shar and I met while I was a Platoon Commander in the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment. I knew on the third date that I was going to marry her and she has been my guiding star ever since.
In 2016 she was diagnosed with a stage 4, Exon 20 NSCLC, which has a median 5 year survival of about 4%. She'd been having headaches, a persistent cough and had been uncharacteristically volatile. Being the oncologist she was she checked herself in for an MRI and saw for herself the bad news on the scans. This was the start of the most courageous delay action I have ever witnessed. My wife threw everything she had at this cancer to buy herself extra days with our daughters. 4 major surgeries, multiple chemotherapy combinations, multiple radiation treatments, trial drugs, immunotherapies, targeted therapies. It was a hard fought battle for all of us, but any time I felt down Shar picked me up and kept us moving forward.
Even while fighting cancer, she worked in colorectal cancer research, the outcome data she worked on has been the source for half a dozen papers reporting on treatment outcomes for the local area health district.
Shar was also a leader in the Exon 20 Group at the International Cancer Advocacy Network who have named their program after her in honour of her contributions to the organisation and their community.
In addition to being a great clinician Shar was a wonderful wife who found the time in her busy life to give me two daughters who are helping me get through the unspeakable tragedy of her passing. I don't know where I would be without my girls Ava and Anara, but it would be in a darker place than I am now.
To post your own tribute about Sharlyn here, please email us at ICANCancerPrograms@askican.org and we will post it within 24 hours. Please include your phone number.
The Dr. Sharlyn Kang Radiation Oncology Program at ICAN
is a vital part of ICAN's Cancer Patient Advocacy and Clinical Trials Program Advocacy Services.
For more information about this special program, please click on.....
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