In late 2005, Genevieve Allen was diagnosed with breast cancer. Eight days later, she underwent a mastectomy and got a second mastectomy two years later.
Next Monday, the Ottawa woman is undergoing surgery again to have her ovaries and uterus removed after doctors discovered what they believe is a benign cyst on her ovary.
“I want to do everything I can,” she said.
Yesterday and Saturday, she did just that as she walked 60 kilometres with 1,000 other participants at the fifth annual Weekend to End Women’s Cancers, helping to raise $2.1 million for research and treatment and care for those diagnosed with breast and gynecological cancers throughout eastern Ontario.
Despite what she’s gone through, Allen didn’t walk for herself yesterday.
Her friend, Linda Guay, lost her battle with various forms of women’s cancers earlier this year.
Over the weekend, Allen carried Guay’s running shoes the 60 kilometres, and then yesterday, across the finish line.
The walk is an emotional event, she said. “Everybody here has a story, and they’re so heart-wrenching. There are so many courageous people here.”
One in seven Canadian women will be diagnosed with a breast or gynecologic cancer in her lifetime, said Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation president and CEO Linda Eagen.