SASKATOON, Sept. 22, 2011 /CNW/ - Annalee Leganchuk of Saskatoon knows she had an extremely rare form of bladder cancer.
This past December, she was diagnosed with urachaladenocarcinoma, an aggressive form of bladder cancer. Her doctor told her she had only
seen it in textbooks. Chemotherapy and radiation were not options.
"I was devastated," she remembers, "I had a four month old baby at the
time.... My daughter was just starting preschool. My son's still in
elementary [school]." If she made it to two years, there was only a 50%
chance she'd make it to five. In February, Leganchuk, 35, had her
bladder removed and is now cancer free.
The rareness of her diagnosis made things difficult. Leganchuk only
knows of one other person in Canada with this form of cancer. But she's
determined to give others hope by making them aware of the disease, its
symptoms, and available support and treatments. On September 24 at 10 am at the south booth of Forestry Farm Park and Zoo she will be leading the way for Bladder Cancer Canada's 2nd Annual 5K Awareness Walk. The event has doubled since last year in the number of participants
and locations. The goal is to raise $50 000 to support patient
education, advocacy and medical research.
Leganchuk, who lost her grandfather to bladder cancer several years ago,
hopes the walk offers others the same hope and support she's found, and
educates them about the disease. "It's hitting people like me - I'm one
of the new faces of cancer."
Bladder Cancer Canada was founded in 2009 by bladder cancer survivors David Guttman and Jack Moon. A registered charity, it is the first and only Canadian patient advocacy
organization dedicated to bladder cancer issues. Bladder cancer is the
5th most common cancer in Canada. A reoccurrence rate of nearly 80% makes
it one of the most expensive cancers to treat on a per-patient basis.
It is the 4th most common cancer among men, and the 12th most common among women.
The organization provided her with critical support and information.
Shortly after visiting their website, www.bladdercancercanada.org, looking for help, Leganchuk received a phone call from Moon assuring
her they wouldn't let her die. He and Guttman provided her with
instant support and medical connections, even though she contacted them
over the New Year's Day long weekend. Today she receives ongoing
support from many members through the Discussion Forum or emails. She
plans to attend Bladder Cancer Canada's Patient Education Meeting on
October 26 in Calgary.
"What they've done - there's just no words to describe it," says
Leganchuk. "I don't know if I would have been as positive if I didn't
find them. I think I would have been really, really helpless."
SOURCE Canadian Bladder Cancer Network
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