Diagnosed in December 2021
Kathleen knew immediately after completing treatment that she wanted to give back to the staff at the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre. Being an Ambassador will allow her to raise money for her community, the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre, and local cancer patients.
“You have inner strength within yourself that you never knew you had. Whether it is cancer or something else, you have it in you to fight.“
Is Cancer Proving How Strong I Really Am?
Kathleen received her diagnosis in December 2021. Here’s how she describes the moment she found out:
I’m only 25. Why is this happening to me? How can I be diagnosed with Cancer? I was in total shock. I started thinking of everyone in my life that has been affected by cancer. I know they would want me to fight.
I had to have the strength within me. Besides, I had a wedding to plan.
Kathleen describes her experience with cancer:
This last year was quite a challenge. Treatment is never easy, and I was often exhausted. This was my sign to take a break from life and truly focus on my health. First I had brain surgery, then I was told I had cancer. I received radiation and chemotherapy treatment, and required two more surgeries – all within seven months. They say there is a silver lining in everything and mine was learning the scale of my inner strength.
What was it like to receive treatment at the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre?
Windsor Regional Cancer Centre may seem like a place of sadness, but for me it’s a place of hope and support. I would sit waiting to be called in for radiation, and hear the sound of the Gong ringing from around the corner. The gong is the sound of hope, that one day, I would also be able to bang the gong. The entire staff, make you feel warm and safe. I’m so thankful for the dedication of my medical team. Knowing that the initial form of treatment wasn’t working for me, they tried a new treatment which has shown some positive results. In a way, the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre is a community for those facing cancer to connect with one another, even when you least expect it. I have met so many strong people inside those walls.
After facing cancer, what’s something you want to share with others who have not been diagnosed?
I am still fighting cancer. I am keeping a positive attitude and I know that having the best support system will get me through it, even through moments of doubt. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Not everyone knows exactly what you may be going through or understand what it does to you emotionally and you can’t expect anyone to just ‘know’ how to support you.
Cancer affects not only you, it affects those that love you and although they aren’t directly fighting cancer, they are fighting with you.
Don’t ever sit and blame yourself because you can’t go back and change the diagnosis. Don’t get mad at those that ask questions because they are just trying to better understand what you are going through. Your loved ones want to help you. When I was first diagnosed, my focus shifted from working two jobs to understanding the importance of spending time with those you love. I would like the thank the nurses, surgeons, and doctors from the bottom of my heart. What you do for local cancer care matters to people like me.
To the medical and support staff at the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre, Without your dedication to your profession, there would be no light at the end of my tunnel.
2023 Lock Out Cancer Ambassador
Kathleen Is One Of Five 2023 Lock Out Cancer Ambassadors
Every year, Ambassadors are chosen for their willingness to share their story, and raise awareness in support of local cancer patients in our community. In 2022, there were an average of 50 women in for Radiation treatment and 40 women in for Systemic (chemotherapy) treatment, PER DAY. In that same timeframe, women accounted for over 57,000 visits to the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre for treatment and care.
100% of funds raised from our Lock Out Cancer campaign stay local. This campaign funds initiatives that reduce wait times, provides added comfort, and helps keep more patients close to home while receiving treatment. 2023 Ambassadors (pictured) are Tina Roy, Paula DeVito, Dr. Sindu Kanjeekal, Pam Mady, and Kathleen Turner. Each has a unique and powerful story to share.