Ms. Oliver is Founding Co-Director of the International Brain Tumor Alliance (IBTA), a worldwide coalition of brain tumor support, advocacy and information groups, clinicians, researchers, scientists, nurses and allied healthcare professionals who work in the field of brain tumors. The IBTA project-manages the annual International Brain Tumor Awareness Week and the Walk Around the World for Brain Tumors (see www.theibta.org) which have been supported by up to 197 brain tumor-relevant organizations around the globe.
Working with the IBTA Chair and Co-Director, Denis Strangman (Canberra, Australia), Kathy is involved in advocating for equitable access to new brain tumor therapies; encouraging the establishment of brain tumor patient/caregiver support groups in countries where they don’t yet exist; and raising awareness of the challenges this devastating disease presents.
Ms. Oliver is involved in a range of high-level projects and committees addressing brain tumor and rare/less common cancer issues in Europe. She is a frequent plenary and session speaker at international neuro-oncology and cancer conferences. She serves on the Editorial Board for the online journal of the European Association of Neuro-Oncology (EANO) and is the Cochrane Consumer Referee for the Cochrane Neuro Oncology Group (UK). She served on the organizing committee for the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) “Rare Tumors in Europe: Challenges and Solutions” conference (November 2008) and is currently involved on the campaign organization committee for Rare Cancers Europe (previously known as the “European Action Against Rare Cancers - EAARC” initiative). She is a member and Vice Chair of the European CanCer Organization (ECCO) Patient Advisory Committee (PAC), and a member of the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) Rare Cancer Action Group (RCAG).
Ms. Oliver also participated in the British Neuro Oncology Society’s National Guidelines Group for Rare Brain and CNS Tumors and on the Rare Disease UK Working Group on Patient Care and Information. She is a Director of Cancer52, a UK umbrella organization for nearly 60 rare/less common cancer charities.
Ms. Oliver is an ex-freelance journalist and, together with IBTA Chair Denis Strangman, she co- edits the IBTA’s major annual magazine, Brain Tumor, of which approximately 12,000 copies are printed each year and distributed for free to recipients in 106 countries. She is also on the Project Advisory Board for the European Patients’ Academy on Therapeutic Innovation (EUPATI). This patient-led initiative will develop educational material, training courses and a public Internet library to educate patient representatives and the lay public about processes involved in medicines development.
Ms. Oliver’s son, Colin, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2004 at age 24 and passed away, at age 32, in August 2011. She cites her son’s “incredible courage, determination and fortitude” as the driving force and inspiration behind her involvement with the International Brain Tumor Alliance and the wider cancer community.