Eva Backman (Sweden)
Eva Backman is the current chairman of the Swedish Cancerföreningen (Cancer Association) PALEMA – an umbrella organization that covers upper gastrointestinal cancers. She is a 5-year locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC) survivor and two times cancer caregiver having lost two husbands to cancer.
‘Norwegian by birth and Swedish by love’, she is a mother of two and a grandmother of three and her working life included two parallel jobs, a life-time occupation as a tour guide along with close to 30 years in the aviation industry – working herself up from the front line to strategic management in quality assurance, a role where strict adherence to safety meant saving lives.
It is with this same work attitude that Eva manages her own cancer journey, one that she describes as her “hardest job ever – having to be my own project leader in my own fight for survival. A daunting task in a totally unfamiliar landscape and with a language of its own”. You can hear her own account of this journey in this video interview.
Wanting to be a voice of all those patients who are unable to speak up for themselves, she believes “We must and can do more – and we shall do it together”. As DiCE PAC member and PALEMA Chairman she advocates:
- The recognition of the patient expert voice
- A change of the trajectory of our patient pathways in our health care systems where patients become the focal point – on an international basis
- Patient rights – being in partnership on all aspects of healthcare where patients refuse to be in the passenger seat
- Having all healthcare stakeholders speaking with patients not about them or to them.
- Refusing to be at the bottom of the ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’ pyramid with regards to survival.