Webinar | Palliative Care: What It Is And What It Is Not

Watch the first webinar in our Changing the Conversation on Palliative Care series, which aims to make palliative care a more approachable topic–a “word” that does not feel as if recipients are on hospice. In this enlightening talk with Cal Cates, Executive Director of Healwell, we explore what palliative care is (and isn’t). This conversation was co-hosted by MBC Alliance nonprofit member Sue Weldon (CEO & Founder of Unite for HER), and individual patient advocate member Barbara Bigelow.

Click HERE to watch the replay
Click HERE to view or download the slides



Cal Cates
Executive Director, Healwell

Cal Cates is an award-winning writer, published researcher, international speaker, and the founder and Executive Director of Healwell, a non-profit founded in 2009, whose mission is to improve quality of life for people affected by acute, chronic, and serious illness. They have led discussions and workshops with the metastatic cancer community through Philadelphia-based cancer support organization Unite for HER since 2012 and they teach an immersive 24-hour course they created called “Opening to the Mystery: Presence in Caregiving at the End of Life.”

They won a Maggie Award in 2018 for Best Feature Article in a publication with circulation greater than 50,000 for their article “Death, Dying and the Breakability of Us All” in Massage and Bodywork magazine. They have trained thousands of healthcare providers in skills of resiliency, self-awareness, communication, and forgiveness. They have dedicated their career to advocacy in healthcare, massage therapy as social justice, and to revolutionizing education for healthcare providers.


Sue Weldon
CEO & Founder, Unite for HER

Sue Weldon’s journey as a visionary leader, entrepreneur, and healthcare advocate began with her heartfelt mission to empower those facing breast and ovarian cancer. As the CEO and Founder of Unite for HER, she has devoted her life’s work to enhancing the lives of those impacted by the disease through a comprehensive, integrative approach to whole patient care and support.

Her own personal battle with breast cancer inspired Sue to create an organization that would make a genuine difference in her community. With an extraordinary staff and board, Unite for HER developed a national comprehensive Integrative Care Wellness Program, offering complementary therapies like medical acupuncture, oncology massage, yoga, whole food nutrition counseling, and mental health support. Unite for HER’s expansion has touched the lives of over 5300 individuals from diverse backgrounds and regions, transcending geographical boundaries to provide healing and support where needed most.


Barbara Bigelow
Patient Advocate, MBC Alliance

Barbara has had breast cancer for over 20 years, the last 8 as metastatic. Initially ER+, she mutated to Triple Negative MBC. A vocal advocate for patient research, she herself was in a clinical trial for immunotherapy that landed her in the hospital for 2 months, relearning how to walk and swallow while undergoing dialysis. Along the way she has also survived lung cancer and melanoma. Today she is the Vice President of Metavivor, committed to raising money to fund metastatic breast cancer research. She also blogs about her experiences using humor to inspire hope for others at The Cancer Chronicles.

You may recognize Barbara from the registration desk at the DC Stampede, the Elements Campaign with her daughter Bridget for #thisismbc, the Count Me In video for the MBC Project, driving the Metavivor RV around New England, live streaming from LLBC and SABCS, or walking the runway in New York Fashion Week (#notjustone) and The Runway for Recovery. She has also been a Celebrity Bartender and worked out with Booty by Brabants to raise research funds totaling $100,000.