I believe in empowered self-advocacy and creative, collaborative partnership working. Following my diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer, I combine my extensive professional experience in community engagement not-for-profits as a trainer, advisor and mentor with my lived experience as a patient to work as an advocate with a focus on equity of access to information and services.
In an Australian 'first' I devised the Breast Recon 101 Q&As, a series of Instagram Lives with surgeons when the audience can ask them anything about reconstruction. The series raises awareness of reconstruction while showing how a two-way dialogue between patients and their health team facilitates shared decision-making so that women can self-advocate and make decisions that are right for them.
I'm on a mission to raise awareness of breast reconstruction so that women who face the difficult decision to have a mastectomy know that they have options that they can talk to their surgeons about. In another Australian 'first', the BRA-va Art social media campaign was launched in 2022 to put BRA Day (Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day) on the map with GPS art 'drawn' when people are running, walking, cycling or kayaking!
I launched Australia's first breast reconstruction podcast, Rewritten Me, at the end of 2022. I talk about all things breast reconstruction with breast and reconstructive plastic surgeons, as well as women who have a lived experience of reconstruction after a mastectomy.
As a breast cancer patient I needed to advocate for myself throughout my treatment and reconstruction surgeries. I respectfully challenged, curiously questioned and strategically 'hustled' for what was right for me. It's not easy, especially when there's an inherent vulnerability brought about by the terror of a cancer diagnosis combined with the power and knowledge imbalance of the patient/doctor dynamic. It was hard, but it was also a learning, and that's what I'm here to share.
I advocate for informed question-asking, shared decision-making and self-advocacy to reposition the patient in the true centre of patient-centred care. I take creative approaches to (re)engage communities and facilitate equity of access to free evidence-based health information to raise awareness, educate and empower
What I do
I share my experience as a breast cancer and reconstruction patient, and work to amplify the experiences of other patients, to advocate for new approaches and perspectives that place the patient at the centre of patient-centred care.
Breast Recon 101 Q&A
with Dr Joe Dusseldorp (FRACS)
What people say
Luan is a uniquely talented and passionate advocate for women who are living with breast cancer. She is using her personal lived experience and her desire to help others as well as her creative abilities to empower women when it comes to their health. This aligns completely with Pink Hope’s mission and goals, and our partnership has enabled us to work together to create engaging and meaningful content for our community. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Luan in the future.
CEO, Pink Hope
You have no idea how much calmer I went into my surgery after watching all the Lives. I was still very anxious, but armed with so much more information I was in a better position.