In 2015 my 20 year old sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I remember I received the phone call while I was at SFU walking from one class to the other. It was as if I had just walked into a glass door, I thought to myself "there must be a mistake, there is no way someone so young could be diagnosed with such a life deteriorating disease". At that point we were not aware of the severity at which the cancer had spread or what stage the cancer was at. I pushed it to the back of my mind and continued with my day-to-day life; I was not emotionally experienced to be able to handle news like that so I chose to ignore it. As time passed, my sister went through many tests and her health slowly started to deteriorate one day at a time. She found out it was stage 4 and there was no time for her to participate in any trial studies; she had to begin chemotherapy immediately. This was the moment that changed my life; I remember it so vividly. My 24 year old sister called me in tears, "Ashly, why are you the only one who hasn't dropped what you are doing with your life to be here for Jan [name changed for privacy]?"
I was into the last year of my degree and was working part-time, but to hear these words come from someone that looks up to you... it was soul crushing. I made the decision to completely drop my semester at that time and flew out to Alberta to be with my family.
My little sister went through chemotherapy for a year, and ended up having to get a full salpingo-oophorectomy. She pulled through like the strong woman she is and I am proud to announce she is in remission and has been for over a year; but sadly she will never be able to have children. I had never understood the effect of cancer on a family until I had to experience it firsthand.
I would never wish this upon anyone, and I am hoping to raise awareness and funds for the continual research towards this life stealing disease. I am committing to being active every single day for the month of May for #workouttoconquercancer.
Fit in 30 is offering $5 donation classes all month long.