In 1999, Peggy Truscott was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Three years later, she organized the first ever Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope in Toronto, Ontario. Her hope was to bring the community together so that women living with ovarian cancer would be able to gather and meet others who could relate to their experiences. Today, the Walk has grown into the largest event of its kind in the country and is held annually in many cities and towns across this country.
The Peggy Truscott Award was created to honour outstanding volunteers who are making an impact in the ovarian cancer community, just like Peggy. We are excited to announce this year’s recipients:
Cristina and Stephanie Valentinuzzi
Vancouver, British Columbia
Cristina and Stephanie Valentinuzzi were inspired to give back to Ovarian Cancer Canada to honour the memory of their mom. These sisters have been team captains of the Walk since 2012, often speak at programs for women living with ovarian cancer, and host and volunteer at fundraising events for Ovarian Cancer Canada throughout the year. They have advocated tirelessly for early diagnosis and greater education of the disease often quoting their mother with the phrase “knowledge is power”. Cristina and Stephanie are also known for their kindness and generosity. They have even hosted out of town supporters and fundraisers at their homes. Ovarian Cancer Canada thanks Stephanie and Cristina for their commitment and willingness to go above and beyond.
Dr. Marianne Stanford
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Dr. Stanford is an ovarian cancer research scientist who furthers progress against this disease as an advocate too. For the past ten years, she has been instrumental in garnering support from the research community for the Walk. Beyond her volunteer work for the Walk, Marianne has also volunteered for THE LADY BALL gala in support of Ovarian Cancer Canada and has already committed to helping with the 2023 event. We thank Marianne for keeping the relationship strong between the research community and Ovarian Cancer Canada in Halifax.
A fierce advocate not only for herself, but for all women living with this disease, Starla is always willing to support the cause. She is one of Ovarian Cancer Canada’s Patient Partners in Research, a member of the Walk committee in her community, has shared her story at events and on national news, and with members of government. Starla often juggles her nursing work schedule to ensure she is available to give back. This year, during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month she created a TikTok every day of the month, showing the realities of living with this disease, which caught national attention. Ovarian Cancer Canada thanks Starla for her unwavering commitment to advocating for all those affected.
Sandra Viviana Murillo Morales
Sandra sought out ways to give back to the ovarian cancer community very soon after receiving her own diagnosis in 2019. She has volunteered her talents as an artist with Ovarian Cancer Canada in many ways, including creating artwork for Teal Sisters living with ovarian cancer and facilitating an art therapy workshop. Furthermore, she shares her story on social media to advocate, helps fundraise and supports other events in her community. For the last two years, she has also shared her talents on the Walk committee. The Ovarian Cancer Canada community is so fortunate for Sandra’s talents and support.
Jennifer Beauchesne, Nicholas Courtois and James Cowan
Vankleek Hill, Ontario
This trio is the powerhouse behind the Beau’s 5k Run and Walk for Ovarian Cancer. The Beau’s 5k raises vital funds for Ovarian Cancer Canada and was started by Ashley Cowan-Courtois, a young woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Jennifer, Nicholas and James now continue the event each year in memory of their friend, wife and daughter, which has raised $288,000 over the years. Even during the pandemic, with some creative thinking and careful execution, the virtual run went on and was a huge success. We thank this team of supporters for their passion for changing the future of this disease through fundraising.
Do you want to volunteer for Ovarian Cancer Canada, or start a fundraising event of your own? There are many ways you can raise the teal flag high from joining the Walk committee in your community to creating an event in your hometown.