A Monumental Day at Princess Margaret Cancer Care

What an amazing day…what and incredible announcement.
I’m having some difficulty getting the links to post for the announcement from Princess Margaret.
Please go their website http://www.thepmhf.ca to get see the news release from today June 18th.

Here the link to the CityTV Coverage:
http://www.citynews.ca/2013/06/18/canada-u-s-team-develops-promising-drug-aimed-at-several-cancers-2/ )

There is also a link to Global link that I don’t seem to be able to post, but you can see it on my Facebook page.

I was so honored to be in the presence of greatness!

There is no footage of my speech, unless I get it later, so I wanted to share what I had to say. Originally I was to have 5 minutes, but last night they changed it to 3, so I had to do some major editing

11 years ago, my Mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Having already lost my Dad to Leukemia, the thought of losing my Mom was unimaginable.
Around the same time, I started hearing about an event called the Weekend to End Breast Cancer, now the Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Woman’s Cancers.
This event empowered me to make a difference. I’m happy to say that my Mom is doing amazing.
I started fundraising, and I set up a fundraising initiative called Think Pink Direct where I helped others also raise the necessary funds to walk in this incredible event.
I have been privileged to donate approx. a quarter million dollars to cancer research at Princess Margaret, and help other donate even more.The walk has created an amazing community of caring and supportive people, survivors and friends, many of your here today.
I learned in the first years of the walk that cancer plays no favorites and I kept finding myself walking beside women wearing pink survivor lanyards. I admired their strength, hope and determination that anything was possible.
This year, the walk takes on a very new and very personal meaning. In February, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Because of routine mammograms, it was caught early. Had I missed my appointment, I might be sharing a different story with you all.
Without hesitation, I asked my Doctor to send me to Gattuso Rapid Diagnostic Clinic. Within 48 hours, my husband Richard and I were sitting across from Dr. McCready. We heard the words that no one wants to hear….You have breast cancer.,
But I knew that I was in the best possible hands and care with Dr. McCready and everyone at Princess Margaret
The irony is not lost that the very hospital that I had raised so much money for was now going to be the hospital that saved my life.
My surgery was successful; But, my cancer was aggressive, and so is my treatment plan.
Dr. Sridar was putting me through chemotherapy, radiation, and because I am HER2+, a year of Herceptin.
They say when one door closes, another door opens.
I made decision to be very public about my journey with very clear reasons
First and foremost, for my girls, I needed to make sure they knew they could ask anything
Second, I wanted to send a message to other women… go for your check ups, get your mammograms.
Early detection saves lives…. it saved my Mothers and now it saved mine.
I also knew there was this amazing Weekend community that I could connect with and reach out to, so I put it on Facebook, and started a blog to share my cancer journey.
I have been so blessed by the outpouring of love, support, prayers, I’ve received.
I know firsthand how important the monies raised through the Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Woman’s Cancers are. But it wasn’t until I was here as a patient that I truly understood the scope of what all funds have provided.
From the Lau Breast Center to the Survivorship Clinic, there is someone there every step of the way. At Princess Margaret you are always treated as a person first.
I am benefitting from great research, and drug development.
18 years ago, my Dad, along with many others, were part of a clinical trial for a drug, Nupogen. Now an approved drug and Although my Dad is no longer here, I have met many people over the years that have tolerated their chemotherapy because of this drug. Now, 18 years, later, I am on the next generation of that same drug.

I am also going to be starting Herceptin in a few weeks, and I’m so honored today to meet Dr. Dennis Slamon, and say Thank you!
Dr. Tak Mak, hearing you speak is always so inspiring.
On behalf, of all the walkers, crew, volunteers and donors, I’d like to thank you for what you do every day and to congratulate Dr. Slamon and yourself on your efforts to conquer cancer through this wonderful announcement.
To everyone at the Foundation, along with the Doctors, Nurses, researchers , support staff and volunteers, it’s because of your dedication and compassion that Princess Margaret Cancer Care is the world class center that it is.
In Sept, I will be walking my 11th walk. I will have just finished my last chemo, and will be proudly wearing my pink Survivor lanyard,
With my daughters Carly & Hailey by my side, I will walk with my Trade Secrets team mates along with the rest of the walker community,
I’ll be walking it a step at a time.
We will conquer cancer in our lifetime
I’d like to close with a quote from the late Dr. Robert Buckman… “Cancer is a Word, not a Sentence.”
Thank you


5 thoughts on “A Monumental Day at Princess Margaret Cancer Care

  1. Karen Huard says:

    What fantastic news, keep up the good fight!

  2. Nicole Hillmer says:

    Randy, the website is thepmcf.ca

    Another inspired post, thanks for keeping me up to date on your progress. .. Love you lots!


    Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2013 01:45:02 +0000 To: nhillmer@hotmail.com

  3. Dana Jackson says:

    Simply amazing!

  4. Donna says:

    Excellent speech and fantastic work! All the best, Donna.

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