Bryan's Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope
Hi Friend or family member,
As you may know, I lost my sister, Heather, to Ovarian Cancer on October 18, 2015. This is the third year in a row that my family will take part in the Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope, in Guelph, Ontario.
Not a day goes by that I don't think of Heather, and it breaks my heart that I'll no longer be able to talk, laugh, cry, share, eat, hug, or do anything whatsoever with her. My first daughter, Aubrey Heather, was born less than a month after Heather died (She was only 35 years old), so my sister just missed being an aunt (Again; I now have two nephews and two nieces), something she really loved. Jenny, my wife, gave birth to our second daughter, Hayley, in May 2017, and with her came another missed opportunity for Heather to shine her love on one of my children. Just writing these words brings tears to my eyes.
Aubrey's and Hayley's births, and Heather's death, also bring to light the fact that there are today thousands of Canadian women living with ovarian cancer; another 2,800 will be diagnosed this year. I don't want my two girls to be one of those 2,800. Ever. The key to preventing death in Ovarian cancer is early detection: 90% of women who have it detected early survive. Yet, early detection is currently not possible, and that's what the goal of this Walk is: to find a way to detect ovarian cancer early. Had there been a way to detect this angry shark of a cancer early, I might not have had to participate in this walk...
That’s why my entire family and I are participating with thousands of others at the Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope. The Walk celebrates the hope I carry with me every day: the hope for a future without this disease.
The Walk takes place in cities and towns across Canada. My family walks in Guelph because one of my brothers lives there, and in last year's walk I was the top fundraiser, raising $4,930.00. In addition, my family's team – Team Pepper – was the top fundraising team for Guelph ($10,560.00 in total funds).
This year I want to beat my fundraising of last year, and once again put my team and myself atop the leaderboard. Every dollar I raise supports Ovarian Cancer Canada, the only national charity entirely dedicated to this important cause. Funds will be used to provide support, increase awareness, and fund vital research so that we can change the future for the women we love.
Here's why it’s important to donate to Ovarian Cancer: Between 2010 and 2014, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) invested $81.3 million in breast cancer research, $39.8 million in research on prostate cancer, and only $16.9 million in ovarian cancer research. With substantial financial backing, both breast cancer and prostate cancer have seen marked advances in treatment and survival. In contrast, little has changed in screening or treatment for ovarian cancer. In its 2015 to 2019 strategic plan, CIHR set its sights on addressing high mortality cancers that claim thousands of lives a year. Beyond this, other funders are to address rare cancers. But according to CIHR’s current definitions, ovarian cancer fits neither of these categories. As a result, ovarian cancer researchers hoping to collaborate on larger team grants are missing out on crucial funding opportunities.
Please provide your support by giving generously. On my behalf, and that of my sister, my wife, my daughters, my mothers, my aunts, cousins, friends, and all the other women out there whom you and I love.
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