In early 2013, I noticed something was changing with one of my breasts. I finally relented and asked my doctor to examine me. He immediately sent me for a mammogram, then a few days later, I was called back for another mammogram, plus an ultrasound. When I received the phone call that I must have a biopsy, I knew something was wrong. My doctor told me on March 8, 2013, International Women’s Day, that I had breast cancer. The following week I made a visit to my surgeon’s office to receive the information that the diagnosis required me to have the breast removed. Since the surgeon, Dr. Reid, was away at a conference, the operation would be scheduled on April 13, 2013. My saving grace, was the gentle way that everyone I came into contact with treated me. I will always be grateful for this.
In late May, I made my first visit to Dr. Mark Levine, my oncologist at the Juravinski Cancer Centre. Again, how did I get so lucky to have such a special person helping me through this journey? My appointments were every three months, so I was getting familiar with the Cancer Centre. In August of that year, I read a beautiful letter in the Hamilton Spectator by Nancy McMillan, talking about the BRIGHTRUN and how it helps people with breast cancer. I immediately signed up as a team captain and sent out emails to my family and friends to join me on the BRIGHTRUN in September. My team was called Reeney’s Rebels. The first and second years I had 18 cousins and friends walk with me. Reeney’s Rebels won Top Fundraising Survivor Team in both 2013 and 2014 which I owe to my team and family and friends for their generosity.
I must make special mention one of my team members, Anne Tennier, who raised almost $5,000 to help Reeney’s Rebels reach $10,000 in 2014. On September 12, 2015, I will again be walking in the BRIGHTRUN along with my family and friends. We all love the excitement of the day and just being together to help such a worthy cause. The funds we raise are used to fund breast cancer research right here in Hamilton. Let’s continue this great work so we can beat cancer.