Kathy Oliver is the IBTA’s founding Co-Director and its Chair. She lives in Tadworth, Surrey (near London), United Kingdom.
Kathy is involved in advocating for equitable access to new brain tumour therapies; encouraging the establishment of brain tumour patient and caregiver support groups in countries where they don’t yet exist; and raising awareness of the challenges associated with this devastating disease.
She served as one of two patient advocates representing Rare Diseases Europe (EURORDIS) on the European Commission’s Expert Group on Cancer Control and is on the steering committee of Rare Cancers Europe (RCE). She is Vice-Chair of the European CanCer Organisation Patient Advisory Committee (ECCO PAC) and participated in the British Neuro-Oncology Society’s National Guidelines Group for Rare Brain and CNS Tumours and on the Rare Disease UK Working Group on Patient Care and Information.
Kathy has been involved as a patient representative on the advisory board for the SISAQOL initiative since 2016. She is also a member of the Guidelines and Reported Outcomes Committee of the US Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO). Kathy is a founder member and former Director of Cancer52, the UK umbrella for nearly 100 rare cancer organisations, and she is a member of the NCRI (UK) Brain Tumour Clinical Studies Group sub group on Palliative and Supportive Care. Kathy is also the consumer representative for the Cochrane Neuro-Oncology Group (UK), on the advisory board for GLIOTRAIN (a European Commission/Marie Skłodowska-Curie action initiative); is on the steering committee of EURACAN (the European Reference Network for Rare Adult Solid Tumours) and is the patient advocacy representative on the Council of the British Neuro-Oncology Society (BNOS).
Kathy is a co-author of a number of journal articles as well as the European Cancer Patients Bill of Rights. She sits on the Steering Committee of All.Can international which engages policymakers on the need to improve the efficiency and optimisation of cancer treatment, care and support, focusing on better outcomes for patients. Kathy also serves on the patient advocacy advisory boards of a number of pharmaceutical companies.
An ex-freelance journalist, Kathy edits the IBTA’s annual magazine, Brain Tumour, of which approximately 14,000 copies are printed each year and distributed for free to recipients in 112 countries and at national and international neuro-oncology and cancer conferences.
Kathy and her husband Gordon’s son, Colin, was diagnosed with a brain tumour 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 in the international brain tumour and rare cancer community.