My sister, Katrina, was my idol. Like most little sisters I spent a good part of our childhood stealing her clothing and tagging along with her whenever I could. Katrina, to me, represented what I always felt I lacked, she was assured and confident in who she was, what she wanted and how she would make it happen. I always admired her for those traits, and since her death I have been trying to embody them.
Katrina died in April 2018 of Stromal Ovarian Cancer at age 32.
Ovarian cancer is the 5th most common, but the most deadly of all women's cancers. Before it had affected our family I was wholly unaware of the abysmal survival rates.
In BC alone, of the 300 women diagnosed annually, 250 will die.
These survival rates have not improved over the last 50 years.
Ovarian Cancer is aggressive and it's symptoms incredibly vague. Bloating, abdominal discomfort, difficulty urinating or pain. There is no way to screen for Ovarian Cancer, Pap smears do not detect it. In order to fight this disease, more research is required, research to find a method for testing, research to help with early detection and education. This is what will save lives.
We were told Katrina had months, then weeks to live. Through the pain of a rapidly growing tumor she fought and lived for months longer than any doctor expected.She was a fighter, so I am going to do everything I can to continue that fight.
In July of 2019 I rode Vancouver to San Francisco, 1700 km over 10 days to raise money and awareness for Ovarian Cancer, the ride was a huge success, far surpassing the $3000 in donations I had initially hoped for I raised over $20k for Ovarian Cancer research.
With this accomplishment came the inevitable question of "What's next?"
During my training last year I had the opportunity to speak with women in my community and connect with people through social media. Through these conversations, explaining the lack of screening test and the desperate need for funding to be put into research efforts, it was often shocking to see how little is publicly known about Ovarian Cancer. Many women are not aware of the symptoms or the risk factors. It is because of this that I felt I needed to do something on a larger scale.
June 2020 I will be setting off across Canada with a goal of raising $100,000 for Ovarian Cancer. I am confident that with your help I will be able to reach my fundraising goal and we will be able to make a substantial donation towards these foundations who are tirelessly working towards a better future for women and families affected by Ovarian Cancer.
I can't do this alone. I will need your support to raise money and help me spread awareness about this disease.
I have decided to split the funds raised between Ovarian Cancer Canada and the BC Cancer Foundation. All funds raised through this page will be split at the end of my event.
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