J. Kathleen Thompson, a retired BC teacher from Christina Lake, is riding across Canada in memory of her sister Sheila Rae, an educational assistant, mom, and youth sports coach who lost her life due to ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is one of the most serious women’s disease because there is no reliable screening method, which means women are more likely to be diagnosed in the late stages and the five-year survival rate is only around 44 per cent. All money raised from the ride will go to vital research and support services through the national charity, Ovarian Cancer Canada. To follow the ride, visit JustGoJo.com.

Retired B.C. teacher bikes though Hope on cross-Canada ride to end ovarian cancer

After losing her sister to ovarian cancer, J. Kathleen Thompson hopes to pedal to a cure

Joan Kathleen Thompson lost her sister to ovarian cancer and now she is on a mission to raise awareness and counter the disease with a cross-Canada bicycle ride.

As part of her journey, Thompson passed through Hope spreading her message about the importance of awareness and funding for this too-often fatal disease earlier this month.

The stats on ovarian cancer are devastating, yet funding remains woefully inadequate.

Thompson’s sister, Sheila Rae Trautman of Kamloops, B.C., died at age 59 in November 2018, just three-and-a-half years after diagnosis. Trautman was an athlete, coach, mother and educational assistant who modelled the values of perseverance and service, values that have motivated Thompson to do this ride.

A seasoned long-distance cyclist who also rode the Pamir Highway in Central Asia in 2018, Thompson’s current cross-country ride began May 14, and is planned to last until August 1, when she hopes to reach Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Thompson will be documenting her journey on her Facebook Page—@OvarianCancerRide—as well as on her travel blog JustGoJo.com.

“I hope this ride can help other women and their families understand the measures that can be taken to avert ovarian cancer, or at least improve the outcome of such a diagnosis,” said Thompson, who’s a retired teacher from Christina Lake.

“My sister’s story attests to what needs to be improved in ovarian cancer screening, and treatment, as well as a call for Canadians to ask for more funding and action to protect women at risk of developing this disease.”

One in two women diagnosed with ovarian cancer will die within five years. More research is needed to change these numbers, as well as improve reliable screening methods that will lower the difficulty of detecting this disease in its early stages.

Donations for Ovarian Cancer Canada are encouraged to show support for Thompson.


 

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Sarah.Gawdin@HopeStandard.com

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