Dianne Hartling (1945-2011)

We mourn the loss of Dianne Hartling from metastatic breast cancer on Sunday August 28, 2011 at the age of 66.

Dianne was the loving daughter of Anne and the late George “Bert” Harris. Sister of George, sister-in-law of Petra, treasured aunt of Jason (Tammy) and Matthew (Anita). She will be sadly missed by her best friend Lois Bourboun and her husband Abder, and daughters Malika, Amira and Nassima.

Dianne pursued a career as a financial administrator in the departments of Foreign Affairs, Transport and Public Works. She was an avid quilter, an active participant in Toastmasters and in the Canadian Federation of University Women. She was a lifelong student of archeology and antiquities and a born traveler.

Initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 1988, she faced her first recurrence in 1990 and through the years, experienced several more.  Dianne never once wavered in her commitment to act as a strong patient advocate for herself, and for others.  She will be remembered as a kind and gentle person who was actively involved with many breast cancer organizations and committees, including a four year term of office as the President of Breast Cancer Action Ottawa.

In late 2009, Diane was asked by the Canadian Cancer Action Network to share her candid thoughts on advocacy work from the perspective of a patient.  For those who were fortunate to know Dianne personally – and even for those who did not – her words serve as an inspiration: “I may have grown up in the 60’s and 70’s, but I would have never considered myself an ‘activist.’  Cancer changed all that!  I have learned so much about the value of one voice joining others to verbalize our needs to society.  As Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” 

Dianne leaves behind a legacy built on kindness and generosity.  She will be missed.