The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network has marked National Cancer Survivors Day.
A delegation was received by Ottawa City Councilor Sean Devine, who was acting on behalf of Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, who could not attend. In his remarks, Councillor Devine said, “National Cancer Survivors Day is a celebration for those who have survived, an inspiration for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of support for families, and an outreach to the community.”
“Any kind of awareness raising effort when it comes to matters of health is a worthy endeavor,” Councillor Devine continued. “I am a cancer survivor and, for as long as he was able to fight it until a few years ago, my father was a cancer survivor. So just like it is for so many families across Ottawa, National Cancer Survivors Day is a day mixed with celebration and gratitude, but also fond remembrance of loved ones.
“Hopefully it is a day that inspires us to keep up the fight against cancer, as well to remind us to continue to show ongoing love and support for survivors.”
CCSN President & CEO Jackie Manthorne was on hand to accept the proclamation, joined by Operations Manager Mona Forrest, Assistant Treasurer Alex Chevrette and Board Member Claude Richer. Other CCSN staff were on hand, including Community Engagement Manager Lindsay Timm, Communications Manager Trevor Smith-Millar, Communications Assistant Tiziri Ait Ali, Researcher Alan Rempel, Social Policy Assistant Kaitlin Pedley and Public Policy Volunteer Nir Hagigi. They were also joined by cancer survivor advocate Pamela Cooper and Al Carl from Prostate Cancer Support Ottawa.
“A couple of generations ago, National Cancer Survivor’s Day wouldn’t have existed,” Manthorne said in her remarks. “Diagnosis and treatment were not well enough advanced to result in many survivors. Today, in Canada alone, there are approximately 1.5 million cancer survivors. These people are leading ordinary lives, some of them have become cancer advocates, and you see some of them here.
“But when we look at surviving, we have a long way to go. Some cancers are still very difficult to treat, like pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, and several other cancers that don’t have a very high five-year survival rate. But better diagnostics and better treatments are resulting in even people with many patients living longer, healthier lives.”
Manthorne also read a letter from Santache, a sixth grader from Regal Road Junior Public School in Toronto, which you can read below. Santache was assigned a project to teach her class about a charity that touched her heart, and she chose CCSN.
“To think that someone in Grade 6 was thoughtful enough to choose our charity, because she liked the work that we do with survivors,” Manthorne commented.
Manthorne also took time to mention our five Leger Surveys about COVID-19 disruption of cancer care; you can read about the first four here.