Who We Are
Our vision is to offer as much emotional and physical support for your well being in a positive, easy and informative way. We understand how difficult it is to receive a diagnosis – you might be thinking, now what? We are here and we are prepared to help! Our vision is to make sure that regardless of your gender, those of you working through the next steps of your breast cancer diagnosis receive our support and benefit from our programs.
We offer support in the following ways:
- Emotionally: Call our office so that we can introduce you to our community and it’s support network.
- Intellectually: Visit our website for useful and relevant resource information.
- Physically: Register for our health and wellness programs and check out our Dragon Boat team.
Need someone to talk to? Register for our Peer Support Program and come and talk to us at your pre-op session. We are here to listen! Need to feel better? Become a member and join our wellness and fitness program. Need more information?
Breast Cancer Action Ottawa is a local, community-based, organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for breast cancer patients and survivors through practical help, emotional support and education.
- To develop and maintain programs to raise public awareness of breast cancer and to educate and support those affected by breast cancer.
- To offer a post-diagnosis support and resource centre to serve women, men and their families living with breast cancer in the national capital region.
- To contribute to the ongoing exchange of information with other like-minded local, regional, provincial, national and international organizations.
- Commitment. We pride ourselves as a compassionate and dedicated hug of support and information for those living with a breast cancer diagnosis. As a not for profit organization we ensure that our organization is maximizing our costs and resources to provide the best service possible for our community and as a resource for our members.
- Inclusion. We implement broad-based decision-making practices that best reflect the needs and expectations of our members, stakeholders and community.
- Diversity. We respect and value differences among our membership and stakeholders, and believe diverse perspectives can be advantageous.
- Transparency. We promote openness regarding our vision, mission and mandate.
- Integrity. We are committed to providing our members, stakeholders and the community with information, care and support to the best of our abilities with a high standard of ethics.
- Effectiveness. As an organization often faced with difficult choices based on limited resources, we strive to achieve maximum results with what resources are available.
Our Statement of Principles
- As an organization, we have established specific Standards of Accountability & Principles of Good Practice. In addition, we strive for:
- Mission Fulfillment… by strengthening the organization in order to meet the changing needs and growing expectations of our audience.
- Effective Stewardship… by maintaining effective governance and management and by generating and managing resources in a wise and responsible manner.
- Quality… by achieving excellence in all aspects of the organization and by evaluating the total organization and its outcomes on a regular basis.
- Leadership…. by adopting and promoting inclusiveness and diversity through services, programs, initiatives, activities and by pro-actively educating the public.
Board of Directors
Diane Hayes, President
Diane is the owner of Kelly’s Boutique Inc. (opened in 2003) and the co-owner of OrthoMedix since 1992, and is a certified mastectomy and compression garment fitter. Diane has raised money for various breast cancer initiatives and is a supporter of many breast cancer related charities. She is the founder of The Kelly Project, which offers women a post-mastectomy camisole at no charge, and is an active member on all event planning committees for BCA.
Susan Gick, Vice President
Susan is a community-based palliative care physician, formerly a family doctor, and has been practicing in Ottawa since 1981. She is now 'semi-retired', having stepped back after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 in order to pursue other ways of helping the people in her community. As part of BCA's Board of Directors, Susan is focusing on creating a comprehensive network of accessible, community-based services to serve women living with a breast cancer diagnosis.
Wendy Loschiuk, Treasurer
Wendy became Treasurer for BCA in 2011 and brings to the position many years of practice in financial management and auditing. Knowing from experience that all of us have family and friends who struggle with cancer, Wendy is strongly committed to the vision of BCA to help those in our community who are facing the challenge of overcoming breast cancer.
Andrea Douglas, Secretary
"My journey with breast cancer began in early summer of 2014. I wish I had found BCA then. It was a long lonely summer filled with question marks and fear. Of course, I knew I wasn't the only one, but I didn't know how to find the others. Then I started attending the Fitness classes in the fall, as treatment would permit. I found strength and energy. I found others. And I count exercise as the number one factor in my return to health. I want that for all the women who will travel my path. I want to reach out and give back through BCA. My background in politics, writing and decades of volunteer activism will help me help others." -Andrea
Louise Haley, Director
For Louise, it’s all about addressing the rehabilitative needs of women before, during and after breast cancer treatment. So it's only fitting that she joined the BCA as a Director in 2013. As owner and founder of Haley Rehab, an inter-professional clinic specializing in cancer rehabilitation, lymphedema and wound care, she has been working with women affected by breast cancer since 2004. Over the past decade, Louise has hosted workshops and has developed educational material for BCA on lymphedema risk reduction practices. She believes passionately, both personally and professionally, in spreading the word to breast cancer patients of the crucial role rehab can play on the journey back to health.
Cindy Strugnell, Director
Cindy joined BCA to become more closely connected to her new community, having moved to Ottawa in 2010. Having previously exercised her charitable efforts working with Relay for Life, she wanted to remain involved with a charity to help support those affected by cancer. Cindy brings to the board her marketing and advertising expertise as well as creative skill sets with the purpose of growing the presence and positive impact of Breast Cancer Action in the Ottawa community.
Nicole Hood, Director
Nicole is a young woman who began her trek through the breast cancer treatment maze after being diagnosed in February of 2014 at the age of 31. She uses her expertise as a socio-legal researcher and her recently acquired knowledge of breast cancer to assist other young women in navigating the world of breast cancer and the everyday realities that medical professionals don't always address. Working with BCA, she aspires to help women in the Ottawa community who are battling breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Action Ottawa’s Logo
Our symbol is a registered trademark since 2001, which stands alone among all other breast cancer ribbons. The ribbon is always worn with the loop down.
– Raise awareness
– The teardrop shape represents the tears shed at diagnosis
– The Rose colour salutes the courage of the thousands diagnosed
– The Black lining is in memory of the thousands who have died
– The challenge is to end the deaths so that we can remove the black and wear the rose in celebration.
Here is an excerpt from Musa Mayer’s book: “Advanced Breast Cancer-A Guide to Living with Metastatic Disease”, Chapter 1: Denial, Fear and Popular Perceptions:
“The universal symbol of breast cancer awareness in recent years has been the pink ribbon, appropriated from the ubiquitous AIDS red ribbon. Breast cancer activists frequently object to this symbol. “This is not a pastel-coloured disease, and little strips of cloth will not end the epidemic,“ wrote Barbara Brenner, Executive Director of Breast Cancer Action of San Francisco. “Of all the pink ribbon pins made over the last several years, only one manages to convey the dual reality that breast cancer patients really face, and it is that of the Ottawa-based Breast Cancer Action group, that uses an upside-down pink ribbon, in the shape of a teardrop, the pink lined with black.”
Our quarterly newsletter delivers information about current BCA programs and services. It’s a great way to stay connected to the breast cancer support community in the Ottawa area. To subscribe, send an email to the editor.
- Summer 2015
- Spring 2015
- Fall 2014
- Summer 2014
- Winter 2014
© 2018 BCA Ottawa