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Courtney Burnett, MD Joins the ABTA National Conference as Keynote Speaker

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My brain tumor diagnosis was a “difficult gift: a gift that teaches us, motivates us, changes us, and inspires us.

ABTA National Conference Keynote Speaker Courtney Burnett

Courtney Burnett, MD, is an internal medicine physician, author, speaker and brain tumor survivor who will share her unique story, as a patient and physician. Hear her journey to find happiness, joy and compassion at the 2021 ABTA National Conference, September 10-11.

“Cancer in many ways saved my life. Through dying, I learned how to truly live,” said Courtney Burnett.

Courtney is a 30-year-old internal medicine physician living and working in Saint Paul, Minn. Her brain tumor journey started unexpectedly in January 2020 when she was studying medicine in Thailand. While there, she began to have neurological symptoms and ended up diagnosing herself with a brain tumor. She returned to the United States, underwent two brain surgeries, and was eventually diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma, a grade 3 malignant brain tumor. Since her diagnosis, Courtney has completed standard of care treatment with both radiation therapy and oral chemotherapy. Fortunately, her treatment has been successful, and Courtney has been able to continue working full-time as a physician throughout her journey.

“I took my suffering and realized I could use it to find and spread joy,” said Courtney.

Courtney started a blog on the first day of her diagnosis. Her blog, www.elephantlotusbraintumor.com, gained an unexpected worldwide following and readers encouraged her to write a book, so she did! Courtney has published many scientific papers, but her first memoir, “Difficult Gifts: A Physician’s Journey to Heal Body and Mind,” was published in February 2021.

Courtney is actively involved in advocacy and outreach. She continues to write and speak at national and international events about her journey to find happiness and live a meaningful life, despite an unexpected brain tumor diagnosis.

The ABTA National Conference is the largest brain tumor education meeting designed specifically for patients, survivors and caregivers. On Friday, September 10 and Saturday, September 11, nationally-recognized brain tumor experts and researchers present the latest technology, research and approaches for safe and effective brain tumor treatment and care. This year, the conference is held online to ensure the safety and health of all participants. This virtual conference offers an opportunity for attendees to ask questions and connect with others impacted by a brain tumor diagnosis.

Additionally, attendees may also gain practical ideas and tools to manage a brain tumor diagnosis, including hearing from a panel of patients and caregivers; learning how to access free patient navigation services to assist with needs at diagnosis through survivorship and end-of-life care, and exploring ways to address emotional and mental health challenges. 

Key topics covered in this year’s meeting, include:

  • Personalized medicine and individualized treatment
  • Advances in brain surgery
  • Treatment resistance and immunotherapy
  • Clinical trials and the latest research breakthroughs
  • Managing mental health and enhancing wellness

View the program to learn more. 

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, the conference is entirely free to attend.