“I just wanted to dip my toes in the Pacific Ocean,” said a 53 year old woman when describing her trans-Canadian bicycle route to raise awareness for the type of cancer responsible for taking her sister’s life.
J. Kathleen Thompson lost her sister, Sheila Rae Trautman at age 59 in November 2018 to ovarian cancer.
Thompson said that her sister was an intelligent, active mother who lived a life of value and principle; which motivated Thompson to do what she started on May 14: cycle across Canada to raise awareness.
“I hope this ride can help other women and their families understand the measures that can be taken to avert ovarian cancer, or at least improve the outcome of such a diagnosis,” said Thompson.
Detection is difficult in its infancy, according to Thompson, and that was what partially hindered her sister’s recovery.
“My sister’s story attests to what needs to be improved in ovarian cancer screening, and treatment, as well as a call for Canadians to ask for more funding and action to protect women at risk of developing this disease,” said Thompson.
Thompson is a retired teacher from Christina Lake and has a prolongued cycling history, having rode the Pamir Highway in Central Asia last year, amongst other journeys.
Her national voyage started in the English Bay in Vancouver and will end when she reaches the crashing rocks off the Atlantic Ocean in Halifax sometime around August 1.
She is currently journeying across Grand Forks and passed the Okanagan this weekend.
Thompson’s Facebook page (@OvarianCancerRide) has a link where supporters can donate to the cause. Or you can follow her journey at justgojo.com
All donations will go to Ovarian Cancer Canada.
In 2017, Canadian Cancer Society estimated that 2,800 Canadian women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2017. Approximately 1,800 died.
Visit cancer.ca to review the symptoms of ovarian cancer.
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
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