First, I would like to thank WBN Ottawa for giving The Ottawa Hospital Foundation an opportunity to submit content for this incredible blog! My name is Stephanie Egan and I’m the Communications and Marketing Officer with the Foundation – and I’m thrilled to be sharing some information with you.

The content I will be providing is in the area of women’s health – and to inspire support for WBN Ottawa’s charity of choice: Healthy Women, Healthy Community. This is a grassroots movement – made in Ottawa with a focus on ensuring world-class care, right in our own back yard. We’d love it if you’d check out the link and read about all of the exciting projects that are underway.

Of course, as we head in to Thanksgiving weekend, we can be very thankful that we live in a community like Ottawa where there is so much going on in areas of research, treatment and facilities with a focus on conditions specific to women… but we can always go further, and do more. We’re women – that’s what we do!

That said, as the month of October marches on, we are made aware of several Breast Health awareness campaigns that have us Thinking Pink right now. Congratulations to the CIBC Run for the Cure and its success again this year and all of the very worthy fundraisers happening for breast cancer research and treatment. Another great initiative this month for Women’s Health is the Shoppers Drug Mart Tree of Life Campaign, which is still ongoing. When you zip to your neighbourhood Shoppers, the associate may ask if you want to donate to The Ottawa Hospital Breast Health Centre. You can purchase various icons at various price points to show your support.

Now, because WBN Ottawa is all about celebrating amazing women in our community, I’d like to introduce you to one incredibly inspiring lady who’s battled breast cancer and continues to do everything she can to help improve health care for women in our community. Her name is Penny Thompson…..

Penny Thompson was getting ready for a Halloween party on October 26, 2012, when she found a lump in her breast. Penny was immediately referred to The Ottawa Hospital Breast Health Centre after an abnormal mammogram. She had breast cancer.

Six weeks after her surgery in January 2013, Penny found another lump. By the time she was operated on three weeks later, four tumours had grown. Penny’s subsequent genetic testing revealed she had the BRCA2 gene, an inability to suppress tumours. In September, Penny underwent a double mastectomy, then a laparoscopic hysterectomy in March 2014 to eliminate the possibility of any spread of cancer. After a complete scan on April 15, 2014, Penny got the news that she was cancer free.

Winning her battle against breast cancer has made Penny feel she can do anything, and so she is running for city council in the fall 2014 election.

“As a cancer survivor, I want to thank you for supporting the Breast Health Centre.”