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Young Sudbury woman aims to inspire others living with a brain tumour
SUDBURY -- Alica Chenier may be visually impaired but these days not much is slowing her down.
Chenier, 21, has been named this year's ambassador of the 2020 Virtual Walk for the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. They're holding the fundraiser virtually due to the current pandemic. Foundation officials say they're hoping to raise one million dollars in hopes of supporting programs and anyone living with a tumour.
"I was diagnosed with a brain tumour when I was six months old so I've always been in hospitals and dealing with medical issues,” said Chenier. “My brain tumour has always been a part of me and in the last few years I've become aware of how many Canadians have one.”
According to her figures, 55-thousand Canadians are diagnosed or living with a brain tumour right now. Officials say that everyday, 27 Canadians are going to hear to the words 'you have brain cancer.'
"When I was little I kinda thought everyone, every kid went to the hospital and went to Sick Kids but that's not the normal, I learned that as I got older, you know I have daily medications I have to take just to be okay and I have my annual MRIs, my scans, bloodwork just to make sure I'm okay and keeping up with my doctors," she added.
In a bid to keep everyone safe, the foundation merged their 22-in-person brain tumour walk events into a single, Canada-wide, virtual day.
Brain Tumour Foundation CEO Susan Marshall says COVID-19 has certainly complicated the lives of those living with a tumour as doctors' appointments along with treatments are rescheduled.
"And there's so many different types of brain tumours, actually 120 different types and they can affect people of all ages and so it is a more common disease than people know," said Marshall.
Chenier is hoping to one day try her hand at broadcasting to see if there are additional ways she can help those living with disabilities.
For now she plans to return to the site and take her virtual walk, one-step at a time.