Brenda Troke is receiving her fifth chemotherapy treatment today.

After developing “a deep, heavy, pneumonia cough” almost a year ago, she was finally diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on Sept. 18.

“It was a huge relief in a very strange kind of way,” she said, “All of a sudden it was like, OK, now I know what’s wrong.”

The survival rate for Hodgkin’s is above 90 per cent, but treatment is not easy. Troke said she spends nearly a week after each chemo session sick and in a lot of pain.

Fortunately, she said, she has the support of friends and family, as well as the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.

Troke is planning a fundraiser for April 4 at the Kent Street Legion to celebrate getting through treatment and her 37th birthday.

Yesterday, she was at the St. Laurent Mall to help the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation Telethon of Hope raise $4,643,950.

Although the total was down from 2008, “we’re very pleased,” said the foundation’s?Lianne Ward.

The funds help the foundation achieve their four priorities of reducing wait times, ensuring people can access care close to home, improving quality of care and using the newest, most innovative therapies.

Ottawa is one of the world’s leading cancer research areas. At any moment, there are up to 100 clinical trials open in Ottawa, said Dr. Susan Dent, an oncologist at the Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre.

One trial expected to open in the next few months aims to identify proteins that promote the growth and spread of breast-cancer cells in order to develop more targeted therapies that would reduce side-effects.

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