Community rallies behind Calgary reporter with devastating diagnosis

CALGARY- A community is rallying around a much-loved Calgary mother, who has received a devastating prognosis.

Tamara Gignac is a mother of two who is now in the fight of her life. In June, she received the news that she has Stage IV colon cancer.

“To find out you have inoperable cancer was shocking when you’re only 40-years-old, and I wanted to scream at the doctor ‘I cannot have stage 4 cancer, I have a three and six-year-old, this cannot be happening to me,’” she remembers. “That’s how my journey started.

“It absolutely gives me terror. I wake up in the morning feeling good, I’m at my best. It’s the night when I go to bed and shut my eyes. I am scared to die.”

Gignac says she was experiencing cramping pains and wrote it off as the stomach flu or gallstones, before eventually seeking help. She is now a proponent of early detection, after having excused her own symptoms.

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The Calgary Herald reporter is now getting used to being story as opposed to telling it.

“It’s funny. Everybody says cancer is a journey, but it’s a trip nobody ever wants to take.”

Friends, family and co-workers are now rallying around Gignac, and have organized a sold-out fundraiser to try and raise money for childcare. Her devoted husband is still working to support the family while Gignac undergoes chemotherapy treatments.

“Cancer is the most insidious, disgusting thing, but when you find out how cradled with love you are it’s an amazing thing,” she says. “For now, I don’t have the time for tears, I just wanna fight. I feel strongly that I can be the elusive eight per cent that do make that five year mark. Why can’t I?”

Click here for more information on how to donate to Team Tamara.

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