During BMO Ride 2021, Patti Davidson fundraised for genetic sequencing technology and afterwards found out the technology was used in her own QEII cancer treatment. This year, she’s going all-in fundraising for BMO Ride for Cancer 2022 with the hopes of helping future QEII cancer patients.

Patti Davidson keeps an extraordinarily busy schedule. In addition to her career in the film industry, she stays active by golfing, hiking, and walking along Nova Scotia’s beautiful shorelines. Over the past two years, she’s added cycling and philanthropy to her ever-growing list of activities after joining BMO Ride for Cancer, a cause that now holds dear meaning to her.

In 2018, Patti visited the QEII Health Sciences Centre’s emergency room after feeling unwell for several days. Shockingly, she was required to undergo emergency surgery for a cancerous blockage. With an active lifestyle and no history of cancer, the sudden diagnosis turned her world upside down.

“I was a healthy person,” Patti recalls, remembering a time before the turmoil of her diagnosis. “I never expected in my life to talk about having cancer.”

“But cancer has to be talked about,” she says. “One in two people will have it. Everyone knows someone. It affects our whole community.”

After her initial surgery, Patti underwent chemotherapy and began her cancer journey, one she’s still facing today. She’s had several surgeries for cancer that has spread to her lung and pelvis, and is currently undergoing more chemotherapy for colon cancer.

It was during this time that Patti’s neighbour, a breast cancer survivor, asked if she wanted to join her 2021 BMO Ride for Cancer team.

“I’d never been a fundraiser,” Patti says. “I also hadn’t ridden my bike in over a year. But I thought it was worth a try.”

Patti was undergoing chemotherapy leading up to and during her first BMO Ride, but that didn’t stop her from gearing up for the event.

“I knew a couple of cycling trails, and I bought myself a stationary bike for my basement and kept in shape that way,” she shares.

Patti’s health held strong enough for her to participate in BMO Ride 2021, and she completed her entire ride. “I felt very proud,” she beams.

What felt truly special to her, however, was that year’s BMO Ride fundraising cause, genetic sequencing technology.

Genetic sequencing technology is a DNA analysis tool allowing for targeted treatment for the gene and molecular breakdown of particular cancers. It can even spare patients from unnecessary treatments.

“I knew throughout BMO Ride for Cancer that we were fundraising for genetic sequencing technology at the QEII,” Patti says. “But it wasn’t until after the event when I asked my oncologist more about it that he told me they just used the genetic sequencing technology on me.”

“I was so moved to know I had actually been fundraising for a treatment I ended up receiving.”

Because of genetic sequencing technology, Patti received cancer therapy targeting the particular genetic markers of her cancer. “It was much better than all of the other chemotherapies I had received,” Patti shares. “It just blew me away.”

Even though these cancer treatments have not gotten rid of her aggressive colon cancer, they have given Patti a much better quality of life.

“Cancer patients, like me, are able to spend more time with friends and family in between treatments,” Patti explains. “I’ve received incredible care here at the QEII. This past winter, I was able to spend time in Florida, and right now, I’m still able to golf. Treatments and technologies right here, in Halifax, are allowing me to live my life to the fullest.”

Patti is going all-in on her fundraising efforts for 2022 BMO Ride for Cancer. To-date, she’s currently our second top individual fundraiser, surpassing her goal of $8,000 with over $11,300 raised for this year’s priority, personalized radiotherapy. And she’s not stopping there – she plans to fundraise right up until event day.

Though she’s not sure if she’ll be well enough to ride this year, Patti is going to try her best to attend what she believes to be an incredibly important cause and event.

“I’m going to do everything I can do get out there,” she says.

Patti believes that it’s an amazing opportunity for Atlantic Canada to be a world’s-first for personalized radiotherapy, and is excited for our community to rally together to bring it home to the QEII.

“I know what we can achieve here in Nova Scotia, at home, for cancer care is incredible. Your support is what matters. Every dollar counts,” Patti says. “If you can donate any amount, local cancer care is one of the best causes there is.”

Help fund the fight against cancer by donating today at YourRideforCancer.ca. You can also donate to support Patti or her team, Girls with Grit.

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