At just 38 years old I was diagnosed with breast cancer and began treatment at the Jewish General Hospital. My father had just lost his battle to cancer that year and I was devastated, to say the least when I got the news.

But, luckily, I had hope.

Thanks to research, a new technique known as sentinel node mapping permitted my doctors to detect which lymph node cancer cells were spreading from. They were able to localize the lymph nodes which were problematic and extract them.

My initial treatment was successful, but in 2006 cancer came back.

In the years between my first and second diagnoses, a gene mutation now known as HER2 – a growth-promoting protein on the outside of all breast cells – was discovered. I was diagnosed with HER2-positive and was given a specific treatment.

What most people don’t know is that there are various types of breast cancers and may require a specific treatment plan. It isn’t one-size-fits-all. Research saves lives like mine.

If I didn’t know I was HER2-positive I probably wouldn’t be here today.

Dr. Mark Basik, Researcher at the Lady Davis Institute and Assistant Professor at the Department of Surgery and Oncology of McGill University, is working on life-saving research right now. Dr.Basik and his team aim to bridge the gap between basic and clinical research for the benefit of cancer patients through translational-cancer research by specifically focusing on drug resistance.

Supporting research like Dr. Basik’s is vital. I am proof that the JGH makes wonders happen and I am determined to do my part to spread the word. Together, we can make this happen. Will you join me? Give to Dr. Basik’s research today and give all types of cancer patients a new lease on life.

Donate here