Following Hope’s Path XXIV
EDITOR’S NOTE: In 2013 retired nurse and midwife Mary Buie approached The Expositor with a mission. She had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and was wondering whether this newspaper would be interested in following her journey as she battled the disease. It was with some trepidation that this paper agreed as the eventual outcome was far from certain to be positive. What followed was an engaging series that leavened a very serious health issue with Ms. Buie’s irrepressible personality. Ms. Buie recently informed The Expositor that she would once again be facing down cancer. The Expositor is restarting the series ‘Following Hope’s Path’ to continue relaying the story of her journey.
KAGAWONG – The cars start arriving outside the former St. Paul’s Anglican Church (now the Old Church on the Hill) in Kagawong in an early morning mist. The car’s occupants, bedecked in various items of pink accoutrements, are here to join Mary Buie for her 10th CBIC Run for the Cure. Ms. Buie is once again sitting third on the podium of fundraisers for the entire Sudbury region. She raised a whopping $2,800 in pledges for cancer research.
Ms. Buie shared a history of the event, which has grown from a small group of volunteers in 1992 in Toronto’s High Park (okay, it was 1,500 people, but that’s small in Big Smoke terms—they raised $85,000 for breast cancer research), to become Canada’s largest single day, volunteer-led event in support of breast cancer research.
The event has since raised over $471 million, $432 million of which has been invested in groundbreaking breast cancer research that has enabled better understanding of breast cancer and better treatments and patient outcomes.
“I would not be here today without the progress that has been made with the cancer research that is being done,” said Ms. Buie. “Everyone’s cancer is different and the research has led to strategies that are targeted to the individual.” Among advances are the use of genetic testing, the psychological impacts of a cancer diagnosis are better understood and now are prioritized as a critical part of cancer treatment. There are also now tests to help predict the risk of reoccurrence and to help guide treatment strategies.
“It’s because of the monies raised that we know more than ever before how to prevent, diagnose, treat and live with and beyond cancer,” said Ms. Buie. “People are living longer and fuller lives.”
Joining Ms. Buie on her five kilometre walk were her son Neil Lawrence and a host of friends, including Heather Theisjmeijer (participating in her 12th Run for the Cure), Chris Theisjmeijer, Arik Theismeijer, Melanie Hunt, Marilyn Park, Jill Ferguson and Mary’s grandchildren Simon and Sebastien Lawrence.
Ms. Buie notes that she will be needing all of the power of prayer and researchers’ skills as her cancer remains in one of her lungs, despite the best efforts of chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Undaunted, she notes her good fortune in having relatives who work in cancer research and who keep her apprised of the latest and most advanced treatment possibilities.
But it is to her faith and spirituality that Ms. Buie turns to most in these times and that puts plenty of bounce in her irrepressible step.