‘There is hope’: 22-year survivor among many participating in Victoria’s ovarian cancer walk


There are 25 locations across Canada, including Victoria, taking to the streets to march in solidarity with the 3,000 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year.

Former B.C. Premier John Horgan, along with other volunteers, participants and politicians, gathered at Royal Roads University on Sunday to kick off the Ovarian Cancer Walk of Hope.

Every year, the event takes place to raise funds and advocate, and Ovarian Cancer Canada engagement coordinator Courtney Willis says awareness and funding are vital to beating the disease.

“The prognosis rate for the disease historically has not been not good,” Willis told CHEK News.

“Many women with ovarian cancer are not expected to live beyond five years, so we are here to do something about that.”

Among many participants was top fundraising participant and survivor Jennifer Smyth, who raised almost $25,000 to help and inspire others.

“I’m a 22-year survivor of ovarian cancer, and there’s not too many 22-year survivors,” said Smythe.

“I think it’s really important for me to be here to demonstrate to other women that there is hope, and also, it’s a great opportunity to meet other teal sisters to talk about some of the issues that we all have.”

Various organizations are working toward the end goal of beating the disease in its entirety.

BC Cancer Research scientist Doctor Julian Lum was at the event, saying he has hope for the future.

“We now have the facilities and technology here in Victoria to be able to begin to deploy these kinds of therapies,” added Lum.

We are hoping that in the next couple of years, we’ll have a clinical trial in ovarian cancer where we will be able to do this.”

For those who want to help, you can do so by donating on the Ovarian Cancer Canada website.

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