2021 Walk - Calgary, AB

Melanie's Marauding NOvarian Mob

In 2016 my wife Melanie was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer.  The diagnosis marked the beginning of a journey that continues even today.  Through the efforts, dedication and skill of her medical team Melanie was provided life-saving surgery and chemotherapy to knock the cancer out of her system.  We cannot say enough about the medical team who supported her throughout the past 4 years. The Tom Baker Cancer Centre, the Alberta Cancer Foundation, and a legion of health practitioners continue help her manage the side effects of her treatment, and to help her as she does all she can to make sure the cancer doesn’t come back.  We are forever thankful, and realize how lucky we have been. 

Melanie’s journey has also been massively assisted by the support and caring of friends and family who stepped up when she was in the throes of her treatment, and continue to do so.  Ovarian Cancer Canada (OCC) was also a critical early support mechanism for us. OCC represents the only national charity dedicated to supporting those diagnosed with ovarian cancer with critical information throughout their journey, and who also significantly support improved research and treatments for ovarian cancer as well.  Many of those same friends and family continue to support Melanie through joining us on the annual OCC walk each September.

Along our journey we discovered that treatment plans and tools for ovarian cancer have progressed very little over the past 25 years, and that survival rates for the disease have correspondingly remained largely unchanged.  Although one of the deadlier cancers, ovarian cancer funding from government, pharma and privately has not kept pace with that of other cancers.  One of the core missions of OCC is to bridge that gap.  I joined the Board of OCC three years ago, and while my term is expiring this fall I have witnessed firsthand the tremendous strides the organization has made, and continues to make, in pushing forward better options for ovarian cancer patients.  I can tell you personally that very cost-effectively, and through an incredibly dedicated team, OCC leverages its limited resources to developing much greater funding for ovarian cancer research and treatment.  Through its efforts, research and new experimental therapies are finally starting to attract the funding necessary to ultimately improve the outcome for our friends, mothers, wives, sisters and daughters.  It can’t come soon enough.

Which brings me to our annual OCC walk.  This walk typically accounts for well over 50% of the annual revenue of OCC.  The walk this year is set for September 12, 2021, and will again be "virtual" meaning self-directed.  We know that the COVID-19 crisis has created incredible financial challenges for everyone, and coupled with the further hardship that Alberta is suffering from the challenges to our oil and gas industry, we understand that many who have supported us in the past, simply cannot.  One of the things we have all learned over this pandemic is the degree that awareness and support can bring to a movement.  Our OCC movement is directed at saving and improving the lives of women from every race and region, and even if you cannot financially support the cause this year, we encourage you to participate in a walk (and hopefully “on” our team) to keep that awareness building.  Dress in teal and let everyone know you support ovarian cancer research and treatment advancement.  The women in your life will be glad you did.

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