Did you know that about 3,100 Canadian women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year?
It’s the most fatal cancer affecting women in Canada. The Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope is working to raise awareness of this disease and funds toward a cure.
This annual walk takes place across Canada each September during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Founded in 2002 by Peggy Truscott, the goal of the walk remains the same to this day—to be a place where women like Peggy who are living with ovarian cancer could connect with each other and their families, surrounded by a supportive community.
Raising Awareness Digitally
Participants in the Niagara Region held their first virtual walk in 2020 and dozens of participants raised $25,000 for the cause, despite not walking together in person.
“While COVID-19 restrictions and heath guidelines changed last year’s event, dedicated Teal Sisters living with the disease, volunteers, and participants across the country were poised and ready to ensure the Walk went on safely, virtually, and with a strong sense of purpose and unity,” explains Jesse Wiesblatt, Community Engagement and Events Associate for Ovarian Cancer Canada.
Held virtually in 2021 as well, participants could choose how and where they walked.
“Participants in the Niagara region walked individually in their own neighbourhoods or in small groups, so we could keep within local health guidelines. Whether walking, running, cycling, or taking a route in a wheelchair, participation and fundraising help power progress against ovarian cancer,” Jesse says.
More Than Just a Walk
All funds raised during the Walk are shared across Canada, meaning that women in Niagara and remote communities benefit from the whole country’s advocacy efforts and year-round programs. The Walk also funds ovarian cancer research that helps benefit women around the world.
Across Canada, the event has raised over $30 million for life-changing programs and initiatives.
Locally, the Walk holds a special place in the hearts of volunteers and participants.
“The memories that come to mind are the powerful and moving speeches by Teal Sisters, knowing that they are spreading joy and important information to those that would otherwise not be aware of this cancer and its effects. Also, being able to see the connections made and friendships formed by walk participants. Bonding, finding strength and hope within each other. So powerful,” says Amber Rutherford, Local Walk Ambassador for the Niagara Region.
Teal—which is an acronym for Tell Every Amazing Lady about ovarian cancer—is a movement founded in 2009 by two sisters in Brooklyn, New York, to draw attention to ovarian cancer. Teal is also a colour used by Ovarian Cancer Canada to continue the conversation started by the movement.
This year, Grand Renewable Wind joined other operating facilities of Pattern Canada to raise $11,000 for the Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope. For information about ovarian cancer, including symptoms and risk factors, visit ovariancanada.org.