On Saturday July 19th I was able to attend a heart-warming event, the Yellow & Teal cocktail party fund raiser for ovarian cancer: an event organized and orchestrated by two dedicated daughters for their mother who is living with ovarian cancer. “We did this because we really love our mother and it’s been very hard recently watching her not do so well,” said Sheleigh, “and we figured that she has always done so much for us as we were growing up, so now, in her time of need, we figured it was time for us to do something for her.” This was a classy and intimate affair held at the Keg Mansion in Toronto; the food was spectacular and those in attendance were all close friends and family. It was a time to share support and to marvel at the unassailable optimism of the guest of honour, Wendy.
Wendy was diagnosed on April 1st 2011 with sever epithelial ovarian cancer. She is undergoing chemo as well as naturopathic complementary treatment. She continues to keep an open mind, an over-flowing heart, and an unparalleled, upbeat, optimistic attitude that is inspiring to see. Wendy is the first to state: “don’t get me wrong, I do cry […] but I have many blessings in my life: I’m still alive!”
The event was also attended by Catherine Argiropoulos, Community Engagement Manager at Ovarian Cancer Canada who gave an address on current awareness efforts and some statistics on the disease. She calls ovarian cancer an “unjust disease” because there is unfortunately “no early detection test, the signs and symptoms are difficult to recognize, and there is so little funding: only 2.1% of cancer funding in the country is directed towards ovarian cancer,” and yet “2600 women in Canada are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year.”
Ovarian Cancer Canada is the only national charity in Canada that is dedicated solely to this disease, which works to eradicate the disease and support the 17 thousand women in Canada living with it. Their educational and fundraising efforts have made significant impacts, but there is still a long way to go. The Ovarian Cancer Walk of Hope is the single most powerful fundraiser to raise awareness for ovarian cancer in Canada. To date, it has raised over $17 million for ovarian cancer. The walk this year will be held on Sunday Sep 7th, 2014 and Sheleigh, Lindsey, their cousin, and her braver mother will be participating in this year’s Walk of Hope, their 3rd annual “Walk for Wendy.”