A Martensville, Sask., woman is hoping more funding for research can lead to a cure in her fight against breast cancer.
Kristen Fiolleau, a wife and mother of a four-year-old daughter, was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer two years ago. Months after getting diagnosed, she learned that the disease had spread to other parts of her body, moving the disease up to stage four.
Stage four is incurable.
“At that point they let me know that I would be fighting cancer for the rest of my life. I have a particularly aggressive type of cancer; it’s called triple-negative cancer,” Fiolleau said.
“I haven’t talked to anybody that actually considers this a possibility or something like this to be a possibility until it happens,” her husband Tyler added.
These days Fiolleau enjoys time travelling with her family and raising her daughter, but never misses a chance to support breast cancer fundraisers.
The Saskatchewan Cancer Agency receives $2,000,000 a year in donations, including events liked the the C95 Radio Marathon, and some of the money is used for breast cancer research.
“Very well known scientists from outside the province come in, peer-review the grants, and if the grant is deemed fundable and good science, then we get to use some of the money for our breast cancer research,” Dr. Keith Bonham said.
“I’m just very passionate about fundraising, because that means that I can have more treatment options, or a cure,” Fiolleau said.
Although there is no cure, research has made a difference in treatment. Her oncologist, Dr. Shahid Ahmed, said mortality rates from the disease have gone down 44 per cent since 1986.
He hopes in the future with more research, doctors can better deal with the disease.
“In the next 10 years we may not have a cure for stage-four breast cancer but we may have better screening to detect the cancer early,” said Ahmed.
In the meantime, Fiolleau continues to stay positive, drawing strength and support from family and friends, while inspiring others dealing with the disease.