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.
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.
Adam Sarhan, Director, Financial Planning
Adam Sarhan is the Founder/CEO of a privately-owned investment firm – 50 Park Investments. Adam is also a Contributor to Forbes and is frequently quoted in the financial media.
Lori Marcantonio, Director, Revenue Generation
Lori Marcantonio is the Director: Outreach & Development at the Ottawa Humane Society leads all OHS fundraising, marketing, communication, outreach programs and educational initiatives. She has close to 30 years of combined fundraising, marketing, program management and community engagement experience in the non-profit sector, specifically building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with diverse partners. Lori is currently fighting breast cancer having been diagnosed in late 2018. Lori truly believes that a positive attitude is an essential element to winning this fight.
Andrea Douglas, Director, Membership and Stakeholder Engagement
"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
Annie Berthiaume, Director, Human Resources
Annie graduated from La Cité Collégiale, in 2016, with a Paralegal studies diploma. Thereafter, she became a licensed paralegal of the Law Society of Ontario. She started her career at a small paralegal firm in Rockland where she represented and advised clients on various matters pertaining to Small Claims Court, WSIB, Landlord and Tenant, etc. In September 2017, Annie joined the Government of Canada as a Paralegal for the Department of Justice. Annie is joining our board to continue to support Breast Cancer Research. After losing a close relative to Breast Cancer, Annie has volunteered in numerous fundraisers for Breast Cancer Research.
Cindy Strugnell, Director, Communications
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.
Caroline Ethier, Director, Volunteer Engagement and Retention
Caroline Ethier is a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed at 28 when pregnant with her first child. After recovering from treatments, Caroline joined BCAO with the intention to represent the younger demographic of women affected by breast cancer. In addition to managing BCAO’s Volunteer Program, she also offers peer support to those in need. Her goal is to raise awareness about the realities of breast cancer while having an impact in our community.
Beth Hoag, Director, Program Support and Development
Beth is a physiotherapist with a practice focusing on cancer rehabilitation, lymphedema and pelvic health. She also worked in the fitness industry as a group fitness instructor for over 10 years. Beth grew up with a mother who was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at a young age and she witnessed the positive impact that community support programs had on her mother’s quality of life. Beth brings her cancer rehabilitation, health and wellness knowledge to BCAO with the goal of helping develop and promote sustainable community support programming for people affected by cancer.
Chelsea Bland, Director, Governance and Succession Planning
Chelsea was diagnosed with an early stage breast cancer at the age of 28. After her personal experience with the Kelly Project, she instantly knew she wanted to give back and help BCA continue to support women in our community through their breast cancer journey. She is a licensed lawyer with the Law Society of Ontario, and is currently practicing in family law. She intends to bring her advocacy skills to breast cancer awareness, with a great emphasis on young women with breast cancer.
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