Mini Medical School: A 20/20 View of Cancer

Event Date: 
March 2, 2020


2-650 Moos Tower
East Bank
Twin Cities Campus

Mini Medical School offers a unique perspective into the health sciences at the University of Minnesota. Once a week for six weeks, students – ranging in age from high school students to retirees – with a shared interest in health embark on a journey examining the scientific foundations of health and disease. Presented using common language for ease of understanding complex topics, your guides are internationally renowned University of Minnesota experts who are shaping the way health care is delivered locally and globally.

In addition to learning from our world-renowned faculty in the classroom, students have the opportunity to get supplemental information relevant to the session topic from exhibitors. A 20/20 View of Cancer is designed to give students insight into research centric key cancer concepts and on cancer in Minnesota.

March 2, 2020

Cancer Survivorship

Anne Blaes, MD

Associate Professor
University of Minnesota
Division of Hematology/Oncology
Director of Cancer Survivorship Services and Translational Research
Section Head, Medical Oncology  

  • There are growing numbers of cancer survivors.
  • Cancer survivors have a unique set of needs.
  • Cancer survivors are at high risk for chronic diseases.  
  • The care of cancer survivors requires a team approach, with multiple disciplines.  

UCAN talks (20 min each) by cancer survivors treated at MCC


Corey O'Brian

My Journey

Casey O’Brien

University of Minnesota student
Football team
Four-time osteosarcoma survivor


Tanya Bailey

A Heroic Journey Mindset 

Tanya Bailey, MSW, LICSW

Cancer Survivor
Co-ordinator, Animal-Assisted Interactions, PAWS Program
Boynton Health
PhD Candidate
UMN School of Social Work

  • Facing a diagnosis of cancer provides endless options - and opportunities - to react and respond. What does a “heroic journey” mindset mean?
  • How was a heroic journey mindset helpful for me when I received my diagnosis of throat cancer.
  • What are some tools and techniques I incorporated in my heroic journey mindset:
    • Support - creating Team FIERCE
    • Connections - authoring my Caring Bridge story
    • Nature and animals
    • Mindfulness x3!
    • Gratitude 
  • How can you help others, and yourself, travel a heroic journey pathway.


Deborah Day Laxson

The Gray Zone:  When Life Support No Longer Supports Life

Deborah Day Laxson, PMP, CHTP

FounderHealth Care Agent Literacy Project, LLC
AuthorThe Gray Zone: When Life Support No Longer Supports Life
Vice Chair, Minnesota Palliative Care Advisory Council
Steering Committee Member, Minnesota Cancer Alliance

  • Role confusion frequently exists between loved ones, caregivers and health care agents in medical events.
  • How does a non-medically trained individual determine when enough is enough?
  • There may be hidden impacts to health care agents responsible for making end of life decisions for their loved one.

Closing comments

Mini-medical school diplomas given as attendees depart


Survivorship Conference presented by the Cancer Survivorship Conference Committee

Gilda’s Club

Mini Medical School: A 20/20 View of Cancer
January 27, February 3, 10, 17, 24, March 2
5 - 8:30 PM