The Donor: Annette Cyr
The gift: Founding the Melanoma Network Society of Canada
The reason: To provide education and support programs
When Annette Cyr was diagnosed with early stages of melanoma in 2001, there were few treatment options and little information about the cancer.
She went through several surgeries and scans, only to have the cancer return in 2007 which resulted in more surgery.
"I thought if I ever come out of this okay, I'm going to ensure that there is more information and support services," recalled Ms. Cyr who runs a business consulting firm.
In 2009, she set up the Melanoma Network Society of Canada, an Oakville, Ont.,-based charity that offers a variety of educational and support services. That includes visiting summer camps to tell young people about the hazards of too much sun exposure, offering patient information sessions across the country and pairing newly diagnosed patients with people who are recovering from treatment.
Ms. Cyr and her volunteers raise close to $1-million annually to fund the programs and their biggest fundraiser of the year is a golf tournament on May 26 called Tee off for Melanoma Awareness.
The network "has become a very big passion for me," she said, adding that she has had no recurrence of the disease since 2012. "I know we've helped to save lives and been able to be there for a lot of people who otherwise may not have had info at their fingertips and support. … I've been in the corporate world all of my career and this is the most rewarding thing I've ever done."