Live from Cannes Lions: Today more than 32 million people are living with cancer. That’s more people than ever before because of the tremendous scientific advancements we’ve had. Pfizer serves many of these people with its medications and is inspired by all of them in its work.

Savitri Basavaiah, Pfizer’s Oncology Portfolio Marketing Lead, introduced the This Is Living With Cancer program her team developed. They were working with two insights:

  • People with cancer want to live, not be defined by an illness
  • They want support – they know they cannot do it alone

At the center of the program Is a documentary. It’s 9 people, sharing their stories about what it’s like when you get the first, second, third diagnosis. There’s an oncology nurse who was diagnosed with the disease she’s spent her life treating. A comedian who is also a three-time survivor. A student who wouldn’t let a lymphoma diagnosis stop him from being a doctor. A woman who was diagnosed at the same age her mother was. The stories go on …

But every one of them gives hope. The diagnoses are terrible, the treatments difficult, but the ways the people heal, cope and live on are told in a way that takes away the sense of isolation and replaces it with inspiration for what the rest of life can be.

In addition to the documentary, This Is Living With Cancer has an app to manage day-to-day life with cancer – from tracking conversations with doctors and nurses to indexing their physical and emotional health to being part of a community.



About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation and Insights for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for building and scaling a global team of healthcare experts who together help life science leaders better understand the complex lives, influences and expectations of their customers. Specifically, they uncover actionable insights that fuel empathy and creativity; lead co-creation events that let marketers learn from peers, trends, and new possibilities; and help clients identify the most valuable and useful new customer experiences to create.

Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for nearly 20 years.She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she held several leadership roles at our largest agency, GSW.  There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business.

Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes.

A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. This year, she led over 250 experts to experts to focus on the most important changes in the commercial, consumer, marketing, digital and healthcare landscapes. (See reports at

Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice and Top 10 Innovation Catalysts of 2017 by MM&M, Leigh also was recognized  as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.