Debra Ann Ragbar was getting ready to celebrate her 64th birthday in late 2018 when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Being the first member of her family to have that type of cancer, Debra Ann struggled with the diagnosis.
“I was speechless. I couldn’t believe it,” recalls Debra Ann. “It was totally shocking and devastating.” She was referred to Princess Margaret Cancer Centre where she underwent a lumpectomy and lymph node removal in February 2019, followed by chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiation.
The excellent care she received helped her come to terms with her diagnosis. “Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is a special place for me because, from the moment I was diagnosed through all my treatments, the staff were caring and compassionate. I felt an urgent need to give back as a thank you.”
Debra Ann created Grands & Co., a company that makes bespoke leather totes with a portion of the proceeds benefiting The Princess Margaret’s Breast Clinic. She named the company after her three grandchildren who helped her get through her cancer journey.
“They’re the ones who really keep me young and happy. They’re the ones who really help me to come to terms with a lot of things. I have to be around to see them grow up.”
Debra Ann encourages others to also give back by supporting the Princess Margaret Cottage Lottery.
“Now that I have experienced breast cancer, I realize the importance of the cutting-edge research that goes on at The Princess Margaret to help patients like me have a better quality of life.”