Dr. Mark Levine, Professor and Chair Department of Oncology

Why did I get involved in BRIGHT Run?

There are several reasons why I helped start our BRIGHT Run. In my clinics I observed that for many women participation in an organized run was part of their healing journey. The treatments they had received left them weakened both physically and emotionally. Training for a 5 km or 10 km run and completing it, left them empowered and exhilarated. I felt that providing such an event locally would be a resource that our program should provide.

I was proud and passionate about the very successful research program we had established in Hamilton and the high quality care provided to patients with breast cancer at the JCC. This, I felt that it was very important that funds raised locally for breast cancer research remain within Hamilton to support breast cancer research at the JCC and McMaster.


Dr. Bindi Dhesy, Medical Oncologist MD,MSc, FRCPC

Congratulations to BRIGHT Run executive member Dr. Bindi Dhesy, who was named the 2015 Outstanding Clinical Teacher of the Year in Medical Oncology. The award was presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting at the Ancaster Mill.

In October, Bindi, who has been involved in the BRIGHT Run since it was “a twinkle in our eyes,” was also appointed at Associate Chair, Education in the Department of Oncology. In making the appointment, department chair Dr. Mark Levine noted that as the Department Education Coordinator since 2012, Bindi “has been a tireless advocate for education.”

In her capacity as the Department Education Coordinator, Bindi was deeply involved in all areas of education for faculty and has worked to support and develop the postgraduate and fellowships programs. Recently, she initiated a strategic plan in education for the department, which will be designed to ensure that the diversity and strength in Oncology is well represented within the department, the cancer program and the faculty.

Bindi has been involved in the BRIGHT Run from the beginning, recognizing the importance of the event’s support for breast cancer research locally.

“Funds raised through the run are critical in funding some of the pivotal initial investigations that go on to form the basis for larger grant applications nationally,” she said.

Bindi and her family are part of the Cancer Busters team and have participated since year one. Many of the Dhesy family members travel from across the GTA to help support the Juravinski Cancer Centre.


Kathie Ward, Registered Nurse CON(C)

I have been fortunate to be an Executive Member of the BRIGHT Run since day one. As a Breast Cancer Survivor, the co-ordinator of the Breast Disease Site Team at the Juravinski Cancer Centre, and a member of the Knot a Breast dragon boat team I have a vested interest in breast cancer research.

Words just cannot describe the ELECTRIC atmosphere at Dundas Valley on BRIGHT Run Saturday. You really need to experience it yourself to believe it.


Michele Cardoso, BSc, MRT(T)

My involvement with the BRIGHT Run began three years ago when one of my colleagues in Radiation Therapy had encouraged me to participate and once I had experienced the BRIGHT Run for myself, I was in with both feet! I am proud to be part of the organizing committee and I must say that there is no other event that has enough energy to sustain and motivate a whole group of busy professionals to keep all of us going year after year. It’s amazing!

The BRIGHT Run is a celebration of the tenacity of the human spirit, our ability to triumph, to love and to remember. And through this feeling of incredible connection and strength we are also raising awareness and funds towards vital research. The research is home grown! It is amazing to see the dollars at work at the JCC knowing firsthand that our researchers are dedicated to improving lives of breast cancer patients.

I am looking forward to this year’s event and really hope to see you there!


Kathleen Bell, MSc, CGC, BSc

I first attended the BRIGHT Run in 2009 as part of a team from the Supportive Care Department at the JCC. It was impossible not to become infected with the joy of this phenomenal event, filled with hope and inspiration. I have more recently become part of the executive and communications committee for the BRIGHT Run, and have been back to the BRIGHT Run as a team member and now as a team captain, every year since.

As a cancer genetic counsellor at the JCC, I have the opportunity of meeting many extraordinary women and men who have benefited from the advancements in breast cancer treatment and care that have been achieved through many decades of research. The funds raised through the BRIGHT Run allow this type of vital research to continue right here in our region. It is an honour and privilege to be part of something so important.


James MacRae, President, Entrevista Ltd.

My name is James. I’m an event planner working mostly in oncology, and a dad. I’ve been involved with BRIGHT since its beginnings and my role has been to help make the vision for the day into a reality.

To witness the courage and commitment of everyone involved with BRIGHT – rain and shine – is a privilege and helps remind me of what is really important daily.


Chris Gravelle, RN, retired from SEHC Niagara Palliative Care.

I have been involved in BRIGHT since the beginning as a walker; then increased my activities to volunteer, team captain and Executive Committee Member. It gives me great warm fuzzy feeling to see all the folks at the walks being thankful, happy, enthusiastic, thankful, paying back and hopeful for the future without breast cancer.
Over the years, I have had the privilege and honor to be part of the journey for many clients and their families during this challenge. I continue to give with my heart to make a difference in the lives of those I meet. It is not what I say but how I make them feel when being with them.


Nancy McMillan, MBA, “BCS”

I  retired from the banking world after 33 years in branch and Private Banking. Chairing the BRIGHT Run is a real honor for me and an opportunity to pursue my true passion. As a 2008 “graduate” of the Juravinski Cancer Centre – breast cancer survivor program, I have participated in all 8 events with my family, friends, co-workers and fellow volunteers. How lucky am I! BRIGHT Run energy is my “jet fuel” and it is very very contagious…


Aryn Sousa

I first met Nancy through work, I’m the Sales and Marketing Coordinator at Allegra here in Hamilton. We run a program called FootPRINT Fund which helps eligible nonprofit organizations enhance their image and expand their services, utilizing Allegra’s marketing and print services. When I started at Allegra in 2012 I was in charge of running FootPRINT Fund and I ran the program through the 2015 season. FootPRINT Fund has awarded BRIGHT Run a number of times.

After working with Nancy on FootPRINT projects for a few years and seeing just how passionate she is about the BRIGHT Run I asked how I could help out and what I could do as a volunteer with the BRIGHT Run. Nancy named me the Volunteer Coordinator. Once I started attending board meetings it was brought to my attention that we needed someone to help out with the E-newsletter and I agreed to help out with that as well, with my background in Marketing and Advertising from Mohawk College I figured it would be a natural fit. Breast cancer, unfortunately, runs in my family and after watching my grandmother beat it I just want to do my part to help raise awareness and money for research.


Carmela Oliverio, Certified Clinical Research Professional

I’m Carmela Oliverio and I have been with Hamilton Health Sciences for 28 years. The last 10 I have spent as a Certified Clinical Research Professional in the Clinical Trials Department at the Juravinksi Cancer Centre.

I have participated in the BRIGHT RUN since year one in 2008 with my original team “the Trial Blazers”. In Year 5 The Trial Blazers became Rockers 4 Knockers.

Because of my work with Breast patients and working on Breast Trials, I am very enthusiastic about the BRIGHT Run and that it is a local event with all money staying in the Centre for Research. Sadly I no longer work in the Breast disease site, but I’m still passionate about contributing my time and energy because of all the strides we have made in Breast Research and the joy I feel in seeing all the survivors (pink shirts) on the day of the run.


Lee Prokaska Curtis, B.A. (Honours), M.A. (Journalism).

I retired three years ago from The Hamilton Spectator after 35 years as a reporter, editor and editorial writer. That has given me the chance to become more involved in the BRIGHT Run, taking on responsibility for the content of the BRIGHT Run’s eNewsletter, as well as writing about BRIGHT for outside media and helping BRIGHT folks write speeches, articles and letters. I also love putting together interesting gift baskets for the BRIGHT Run’s penny sale and coordinating our successful annual silent auction.

I participated in the first BRIGHT Run, almost three years after I finished my breast cancer treatment. It was a remarkable day for me as I realized I had become part of an intensely close and supportive community.

I am not a joiner by nature, but over the past 10 years I have become more and more involved in the BRIGHT Run. I love the BRIGHT Run’s sense of community, its welcoming spirit and its commitment to making a difference.


Lise Diebel

I work for the Regional Cancer Program, promoting the province’s three organized cancer screening programs – the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP), Ontario Cervical Screening Program (OCSP) and Colon Cancer Check.

I got involved in the BRIGHT Run last year, after being introduced to Chair Nancy McMillan through a mutual friend. I’m chair of BRIGHT Run’s advertising, marketing and communications committee, and also sit on the executive committee. It’s inspiring to be part of something so positive and impactful. BRIGHT Run is an easy event to get behind, especially considering that ALL funds raised by participants go entirely to local breast cancer research.