A deep feeling of gratitude
Marilyn Sapsford's Story
December 29, 2016
My name is Marilyn Sapsford and I am an ovarian cancer survivor celebrating almost 14 years cancer free! I am also the National Program Manager at Ovarian Cancer Canada.
In 2002, a routine test for fibroids indicated something unusual in my right ovary. My family doctor referred me to a gynecologist and ultimately I was diagnosed with Stage 1 clear cell ovarian cancer.
During my recovery, I joined an ovarian cancer support group. Through the group, I learned about Ovarian Cancer Canada, became a Knowledge is Power volunteer and participated in the Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope before eventually joining the staff in 2006.
To reach five years cancer-free was an exciting milestone and I wanted to do something to celebrate. So, I put fuchsia and teal streaks in my hair and fulfilled a lifelong dream of jumping out a plane at 13,500 feet tethered to a professional skydiver! It was amazing! In 2013, at 10 years cancer-free, I felt something much quieter – a sense of deep gratitude.
For the last 10 years, my role at Ovarian Cancer Canada has been a great gift. It has afforded me the opportunity to give back, to provide support to women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and to speak out for those who can no longer speak out for themselves.
When I was first diagnosed, I received a copy of Ovarian Cancer Canada’s original resource guide for women with ovarian cancer. As the National Program Manager I was privileged to co-ordinate the revisions to this guide and develop both the By Your Side guide and Still By Your Side - the first guide in Canada for women facing a recurrence of ovarian cancer published this year.
Providing support for women with ovarian cancer and their families is a vital part of our work. In addition to the By Your Side guides, support programs and resources include: online webinars and support groups; local workshops with expert speakers; informal opportunities to meet with other survivors; and of course, staff across the country who are ready provide support by phone or email.
Your donations help ensure that these programs and services are offered free of charge across Canada. Donate now to help expand the scope of our reach and to get these vital resources into the hands of a woman who needs it.