Look at my picture. It was taken shortly before my diagnosis in January 2017. Does that look like a woman with a tumour the size of a grapefruit to you? High grade serous, stage 3C, epithelial ovarian cancer they told me. What a shock, as I know is for every woman plagued by this disease. And that's when I said, I will survive this and I am going to dedicate myself to bringing awareness of this disease, to raising funds for research, and to using my skills and knowledge to help others live happy and fruitful lives.
Well, I'm still here after one surgery, six rounds of chemo, a two-year clinical trial to treat a recurrence at the end of 2018 and just out of another eight rounds of chemo to treat my latest recurrence … most of that in the middle of a pandemic. And I'm making my promise true. Today I am the patient partner to Queens University in a project to develop a support framework to prepare women to have full and meaningful lives post treatment. I am consulting to a major pharmaceutical company, bringing the patient perspective to the development and launch of new drugs and support programs for ovarian cancer survivors. And and as the national moderator of OVdialogue and host of it's weekly live chat I reach close to 900 survivors each day with information, encouragement and some days just a shoulder to lean on.
Truly I've had a great life. I’m blessed with a wonderful caring and supportive husband, a very loving and talented son, and many friends and family who support and inspire me to go on.
I'm ready for anything fate may throw my way. This disease I sadly share with so many others doesn't scare me; I will wrestle it to ground! And it’s through your generous support that we are beginning to finally make progress on developing a reliable screening, so that this disease can be diagnosed earlier, and new drugs and treatments are becoming available to help us live longer and better lives.
That’s why I’m participating in the 2021 Walk of Hope, as I have since diagnosed. Join me, virtually, on September 12 and provide your support by giving generously. 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. Together we can make a difference.
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