Hundreds of walkers set out on a path to end ovarian cancer Sunday in Kildonan Park — but for one mother, the event felt extra special.
Flin Flon’s Paulette Adolphe travelled to Winnipeg for the Ovarian Cancer Walk of Hope, which sees Canadians coast-to-coast raise money and awareness in the fight against the deadly disease.
Three years ago, ovarian cancer was the last thing on Adolphe’s mind. But in November of 2015, her daughter, Amanda Rebillard, was diagnosed with stage three of the disease that kills five Canadians a day.
“It was heart-stopping,” Adolphe said. “It put me into a tailspin.”
More than half of women diagnosed aren’t expected to live longer than five years, and Adolphe said that fact pushed her to do what she could to support her daughter.
In June, when Rebillard asked her mother to join her for Sunday’s walk, her mother decided to take the promise one step further.
“I’m not an athlete by any stretch of the imagination,” Adolphe said. “But I know I can walk.”
“I thought: I’m going to walk to Winnipeg to join her in that five-kilometre walk.”
“So I took it upon myself to walk every day a couple hours,” said Adolphe, “to add up the kilometers from Flin Flon to Winnipeg.”
That meant walking for up to 10 kilometres after work every day since early June.
On Sunday, 755 km later, and with $6,000 raised for the fight against ovarian cancer, Adolphe crossed the finish line of the Walk of Hope with her daughter’s hand in hers. Saving the last steps for the event she promised her daughter she’d attend.
“Strength and hope are two big things that you have to keep close to your heart,” Rebillard said. “People around me today, including my mom, are strong.”
“They give me hope.”
Adolphe said Sunday that her walking endeavour has helped her deal with her daughter’s condition, and that she hopes people are taking notice. She also said, even after completing her goal, that her walking sticks aren’t hung up just yet.
“I’m going to keep on walking,” Adolphe said. “If Amanda wants me to come back next year and help her do this again, I’ll be open for that.”
The walk Sunday in Winnipeg raised over $147,000 for the fight against ovarian cancer. 700 participants attended.