OPINION: Supporting Melissa

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(Image courtesy Melissa Harrigan/Facebook)

We’d like to offer our support and encouragement to West Kent Coun. Melissa Harrigan in her cancer journey.

Harrigan is battling breast cancer, and has opted to do so in a very public manner.

We thank her for her brave effort, as such endeavours help shine a light that cancer can hit people of all ages. The councillor is only 35.

She’s facing the illness head on, and raising awareness, and funds, in the process.

With a huge boost from friends Mark and Lynn Authier, the fundraising campaign is selling “Her Fight is Our Fight” T-shirts, with proceeds being directed to the Foundation of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

She has set a goal of $10,000. Funds raised will be in support of breast assessment/mammography in the diagnostic imaging department at CKHA.

A campaign website has been launched and can be found at https://give.classy.org/HerFightIsOurFight.

The funds will support the purchase of a new VELA mammography chair, which is optimized for patients who need to sit down during breast examinations. 

Additional funds will be used to support cosmetic enhancements to the mammography room.

At Chatham-Kent’s most recent council meeting, Harrigan attended virtually, and saw as councillors and administration donned the pink T-shirts in support.

Harrigan may have stepped away from council for a few months, but she continues to have an impact in council chambers, and well beyond.

It was fitting to see her peers opt to unanimously vote to grant her a three-month leave of absence, rather than seek someone to fill her seat as she fights cancer.

Harrigan will undergo chemotherapy until April, followed by surgery and further radiation treatment.

It is not an easy fight, and it is often one where patients retreat away from the public eye.

Harrigan’s vibrance and dedication to a public battle with the illness should be a form of inspiration to us all.

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