Heather Wright/The Independent
Breanne Venema Melnyk says it was hard being diagnosed and treated for breast cancer during a pandemic.
But the Watford native received a big boost from family and friends over the weekend as her mom and dad, Laura and Phil Venema, and her aunts arranged for her family to be in CIBC’s Run For the Cure.
Family and friends raised $15,230 for the cause. Then, they walked Arkona Road from Confederation Line to Churchill Line and back in the rain.
Venema says the walk was nothing compared to being told her daughter had breast cancer in April. “Having your daughter diagnosed with breast cancer is not easy to handle,” she says through tears. “But she’s fine; she’s going to be fine.”
Venema-Melnyk says the diagnosis stunned her, too. The wife and mother of two wasn’t thinking of a serious illness at 33. “When you are initially diagnosed, there is so much information so many different types of breast cancer, a lot of different treatments,” she said
“You have the fear of not knowing what to expect…prepare yourself for the worst and hope for the best.”
And it was hard to be alone during the treatments. No visitors were allowed because of the pandemic although the doctors and nurses were very kind.
Venema-Melnyk is almost done her treatments so Sunday’s walk with family was a celebration.
“It was just a great day even though it rained it didn’t really matter, we were out there in the rain anyway.”
The family had a little extra to celebrate. The Breanne’s Team won the CIBC Friends and Family Award for their efforts.