iCAN Summit - Children Making a Change - Rachel Zajdel & Tayler Fane

Team triALL, one of the centennialX student teams, has been tasked with tackling obstacles in today’s society. The team is working with Eli Lilly’s Joe Kim and iCAN to develop a solution that enhances the communication between pediatric clinical trial researchers and the advocacy chapters. Their goal is to create a more personal connection so the children patients feel a sense of reassurance and that the feedback they give is being used to improve clinical trials.

Team triALL  began their groundbreaking journey to Orlando, Florida on Thursday, July 13. Assigned with the task of hosting a presentation at a summit in front of iCAN chapters in order to gain insight on the issues with patient-doctor communication, time and effectiveness was a huge challenge. The team was given only one hour to get as much information as possible while providing the chapters with an enjoyable, interactive experience.

At the summit, the Team triALL created a presentation that would enable them more feedback and information from the patients and advocates. With interactive activities like thought clouds, where the kids could express issues they face while in clinical trials. Team triALL would then use this information to generate a solution for the most prominent challenge.

The chapters agreed that the main source of communication currently is through surveys, however that system was found to be ineffective. Regarding some of the frustrations, triALL member Alessia Martusciello commented “Once they give this feedback to the researchers, they don’t really hear back what they do with the information, and they’re saying ‘okay why did we even give it to you, we don’t know if you’re even listening’.”

TriALL’s presentation was a success as all attendees were intrigued and engaged throughout the hour. The energy in the room was astonishing and reflected the passion and dedication that the chapters and triALL put into iCAN. The information gained was essential in advancing the problem-solving process, and the connections were ones to last a lifetime. Team member Spencer Fairall remarked, “Even though we brought back all of this information, one of the most enriching parts was talking to people.”    

Team triALL is currently taking that feedback from the summit and continuing to brainstorm and figure out pathways that will lead them to their end solution. This challenge is something that really inspires the students to make a difference in the lives of those facing clinical trials and impacting generations to come.

“We were inspired going into this, but sitting across from someone who says ‘I’m a cancer survivor’ or ‘I have a rare disease’, it’s just so personally touching.” -Will Clift