As we settle into the winter months and reflect on the past year, it shocks me how fast time has flown by, but we have made significant progress - it’s impossible to ignore.
This September we raised the teal flag high to mark Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. We took to Parliament Hill, where I was joined by staff and board members, patient advocates and researchers as we led a series of successful meetings with Members of Parliament in Ottawa and virtually. Together, we urged all political parties to continue investing in scientific progress against the disease. Our message was clear – Canada needs to continue to invest in ovarian cancer research to improve patient outcomes, and Ovarian Cancer Canada will not waver in its commitment to research to enhance prevention, treatment and save lives.
Our Speaker Series sessions and national symposia brought expert information and workshops to those affected by this disease across the country. We brought the community together through Teal Tea gatherings and support offerings, and we rallied around days of action such as World Ovarian Cancer Day and the Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope. This year, Walk participants raised $1.4 million to champion this cause.
We asserted our leadership in research and showcased our research breakthroughs at the Canadian Conference on Ovarian Cancer Research and also announced highly anticipated gala events returning next spring like THE LADY BALL Halifax and Charlottetown. And there is much more fueling our forward momentum.
I am reminded of our commitment to this cause every time I hear words from family members and friends, caregivers, and the women living with ovarian cancer who are selflessly sharing their stories to bring hope to others, like Julia Laliberté, Melanie Keats and Starla Fiddler.
You may have read Julia’s story, saw a social media post about Melanie or heard from Starla at our National Symposium. Together, they stand in solidarity to say enough is enough, and it’s time for change. They are determined to make this journey better for the next, because there simply isn’t time to wait, especially when it comes to ovarian cancer.
Unique to this community is the sense of responsibility that comes from learning more about the disease, through a diagnosis or even academically. This cause challenges us to find meaningful ways to give back.
The momentum that bolsters everything we do at Ovarian Cancer Canada - and the way our community rallies to such powerful effect through donations, fundraising, and volunteering - tell me that the future is bright and the next breakthrough in ovarian cancer is around the corner. But we cannot do this without you.
We are spearheading ground-breaking research and are committed to a research plan that aims to advance new treatments to improve the survival of women with ovarian cancer. And we are on the cusp of bringing new treatment strategies to our community. In just three years of research, we have made many significant accomplishments:
- Funded 23 projects on ovarian cancer research models that will set the stage for future discoveries
- Six potentially transformative clinical trials underway and 13 innovative pre-clinical studies in the pipeline
- Created an ovarian cancer research consortium which consists of 250+ members
- Established a national team of 20+ Patient Partners in Research
- And we provided partial or full funding for 75+ research personnel
It’s the perfect storm when the passion of our community comes together to make this change and progress a reality. Every dollar contributes to this work and is vital to furthering our mission.
We are accelerating research progress and taking it to new heights. We are earning international recognition for Canada as a leader in pioneering transformative research and discoveries. We are not slowing down anytime soon. We can’t and we won’t.
We are driving forward with a bold vision, and we are leaving no stones left unturned. Your ongoing support is essential to that vision, and we cannot thank you enough.
This season of giving, women and families affected by ovarian cancer are determined to accelerate progress against the disease. Real change is needed, and you can help. Please consider making a donation today.