What does it mean to be cancer-free?

If you’ve ever been to one of Trillium Health Partners’ three hospital sites, then you might remember seeing Nicola Rose’s photo on our elevators.

Diagnosed with cancer at 24 years old, her journey began when she discovered a lump on her neck and went to see her doctor.

“I had low iron and itchy skin—two symptoms you wouldn’t really put together and say this person has cancer,” said Nicola, who discovered the lump shortly afterwards. After a series of tests and a surgery, the results showed that she had stage two Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Nicola organized a community fundraising event that raised over $14,000 for our hospital.For the first 3 years after her treatment, she went for regular checkups to ensure there were no traces of cancer in her body. Fast forward five years to today, and we are pleased to announce that Nicola is officially cancer-free. This October will be her last checkup.

“If someone remains in complete remission for five or more years—meaning that all signs and symptoms of cancer are gone from their body—they can be described as being cancer-free,” said Dr. Sameena Uddin, Program Chief and Medical Director of Oncology at Trillium Health Partners.

Nicola has been very open about her cancer journey, even documenting her biweekly trips for chemotherapy sessions at the Carlo Fidani Regional Cancer Centre.

“It’s been very rewarding to share my story and inspire hope and courage in others battling this disease,” she said.

She even managed to use her cancer journey for a positive career focus. After her treatment concluded, she went to a naturopath for help with her recovery, and felt encouraged to get a diploma in holistic nutrition. She now tries to use her experience and education to help others stay healthy.

Nicola also organized a 3P fundraising event this July that raised over $14,000 for our hospital, including more than $4,000 through her fundraising page on the Trillium Health Partners Foundation website.

“The care from the hospital has been unbelievable, and I feel like I need to give back and show my appreciation.”

Her message for people in the community who helped her—and continue to help others through their donations—couldn’t be clearer.

“If I knew I was sitting beside someone who donates to the hospital, I think I would probably cry and hug them, and let them know just how much their donation means.”

>> If you would like to organize your own fundraising campaign page to help people in our community access exceptional, lifesaving care—start planning this today with our easy-to-use fundraising platform.