In May 2016, Katherine was told she had three to nine months to live after receiving a stage four pancreatic cancer diagnosis in her hometown of Belleville. She was immediately referred to Princess Margaret Cancer Centre under the care of Dr. Neesha Dhani. Once there, Katherine witnessed how “The Princess Margaret moved mountains to address my health concerns.”
Everything looked great after her treatments until June 2017, when Katherine started to feel unwell at a family function. Next thing she knew, she was having a seizure and being rushed to the nearest hospital where they found a brain tumour. The doctors said they could operate but she’d be partially paralyzed.
Katherine was referred to Dr. Dhani at The Princess Margaret who offered Katherine the option of Gamma Knife radiosurgery, an “ingenious” procedure that allowed Katherine to walk in and out on the same day.
In January 2021, a second tumour was discovered on Katherine’s pancreas. “I was told I’d have to do lengthy radiation, but Dr. Rebecca Prince and Dr. Aisling Barry advocated for me to be a candidate for the MR-Linac, which was only five days of treatment instead of five weeks.” Katherine was the first pancreatic cancer patient in Canada to be treated in the MR-Linac at The Princess Margaret, offering precise and personalized cancer treatment with fewer side effects. The Princess Margaret is one of the only two sites in Canada with the new technology.
“It’s pretty impressive what The Princess Margaret offers,” says Katherine. “It was an incredible experience for such a dire situation. I have been able to enjoy milestones and a quality of life I never thought possible.”
Five years after her initial diagnosis, Katherine is thrilled that she’s able to run after her grandson,
be there for her three kids and go for walks with her husband.
“Quantity of life is important, but so is quality, and thanks to the innovative research, treatment, and
care at The Princess Margaret I have been able to enjoy both. I encourage you to donate.”