Lifting the Lid on Cancer in the LGBTQ+ Community

Hosted by Emma McAuley (the first LGBTQ+ Trekstock Young Adult Ambassador), we talked about the issues facing cancer patients in the LGBTQ+ community. Whether its fear of judgement, lack of understanding from the health services, or a lack of representation in the national conversation, we want to shine a light on the reality of the LGBTQ+ experience in the cancer world. With expert advice from Dr Michael Brady (National Advisor on LGBTQ+ Health), Claire Amaladoss (a lead on Prevention policy at the Department of Health and Social Care and co-chair of the Department’s LGBT+ staff network), Stewart O'Callaghan (founder and ED of Live Through This which supports & advocates for LGBT+ people affected by cancer) Brad Gudger (founder of Alike, and a young adult living with the after-effects of cancer), and other young adults talking from their own personal experiences.

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Learn More about our Amazing Line-Up

Emma McAuley

Bookworm and red lipstick-loving, Emma had her boobs stolen by breast cancer at 25. Known on social media as ‘delightfully depressing’, Emma uses personal experiences and self-titled malignant humour, to give a (loud) voice of support to other young adults as they navigate their cancer treks. Through blogging, she has discussed various cancer-related issues including body image, mental health, relationships and life after active treatment. 
Emma is the first LGBTQ+ Trekstock Young Adult Ambassador and lives in East London with her child/ dog, Prudie.
Dr. Michael Brady

Dr Brady was appointed as the National Advisor for LGBT Health at NHS England in April 2019. In this role, Michael will be working across NHS England and NHS Improvement, with the Government Woman’s and Equalities Office and a wide range of stakeholders, partner organisations and the LGBT community to address health inequalities for LGBT patients and improve the experience in the NHS.

Michael is also an HIV and Sexual Health Consultant at Kings College Hospital in London and the Medical Director of the Terrence Higgins Trust. 

Claire Amaladoss

Claire Amaladoss currently leads on Prevention policy at the Department of Health and Social Care and is the co-chair of the Department’s LGBT+ staff network. She has previously held a range of policy roles in other aspects of public policy including NHS commissioning, integrated care, and energy and climate change. Claire was treated for Hodgkin Lymphoma as a teenager and has sat on the Board of Trustees for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust since 2014. She lives in West London with her wife Lucy.

Stewart O'Callaghan

Stewart O’Callaghan is the founder and ED of ‘Live Through This’ which supports and advocates for LGBT+ people affected by cancer. They are committed to creating greater awareness of the LGBT+ cancer experience within healthcare by providing talks, materials and information supporting education.

For patients, they host regular peer-support sessions in Central London, open to any person on the queer spectrum with any form of cancer. The group is also open to carers and bereaved partners. Through their work, they hope to improve LGBT+ specific health knowledge within the community itself, Primary Care and Secondary Care. With a better appreciation of risks, barriers and effective support we can provide better experiences and outcomes for LGBT+ people facing cancer.

Stewart was diagnosed with CML in January 2017 and receives treatment at Kings College Hospital.

Brad Gudger

A two-time cancer survivor, Brad is a pioneer of the charity sector and his community. 

He has volunteered for various organisations for nearly four years and has worked extensively to advocate on behalf of young people. His experience includes being a Youth Expert Advisor for NHS England, petitioning the government to offer more support to those being treated for cancer and he has spoken in Parliament numerous times about patient experience. As a proud gay man, he is passionate about representation and health outcomes of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Brad has been an international advocate for young people as well. He is a board member of the NGO Youth Cancer Europe and has been a Young Technical Advisor for a World Health Organisation & Public Health England Collaborating Centre. 

Brad founded his own charity in 2018, called Alike. Alike has been created to combat isolation amongst people with cancer using a new innovative digital peer support app and UK wide peer support groups. In July 2019, he received a Diana Award for his services to young people and the cancer community