senators’ statements — Ovarian Cancer Canada

December 15, 2021


Honourable senators, this past fall, my wife, Ellen, and I, along with our children, Michael and Lisa, and our grandchildren, Ellie and Oliver, once again participated in Ovarian Cancer Canada’s Walk of Hope in Halifax. It is one of the many communities across the country where the walk takes place. We participated by walking in our neighbourhood, as COVID protocols were in place. To date, the walk has raised over $30 million to provide the much-needed support for patients; increased awareness, especially for early detection; and funding for the critical research to fight against ovarian cancer.

Many of my honourable colleagues, family and friends have donated to this cause that has been so dear to us for years on end. We are very thankful for that. This year was especially meaningful for my wife, Ellen, as she celebrated 25 years since her surgery in her fight against ovarian cancer. Ellen is one of the lucky ones and we are so lucky to still have her with us.

We are so proud every year to participate in the walk in support of her and all women who have been diagnosed — and have not survived — with ovarian cancer.

According to Ovarian Cancer Canada:

Thousands of women are living with ovarian cancer in Canada. It is estimated that this year 3,100 Canadian women will be newly diagnosed with this disease. Ovarian cancer is the 5th most common cancer for women and is the most serious women’s cancer.

Honourable senators, through everyone’s kindness and generosity, Team Ellen Mercer raised about $3,000 this year. We have consistently broken our records every year, and we are truly thankful to everyone who has donated. With everyone’s help, we can defeat this horrible disease. While I may be retiring from this place in May, I will continue to support Ovarian Cancer Canada’s Walk of Hope, so you have not heard the last of me just yet.

In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season with family and friends. Thank you.