Imagine visiting your local emergency room with unusual fatigue and a bruise or two that you don’t remember causing, only to hear the dreaded words, ‘You’ve got cancer’. If that isn’t enough, you learn that you must start treatment immediately or risk death. As the unfortunate recipient of acute blood cancer, we do not often have the luxury of exploring treatment options or getting a second opinion. It is a race against time and there’s no time but the present.
Canadian Cancer Society predicts that 1 in 2 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime. When we get the news, the best way to ensure the most positive outcome is to be informed, participate in your own health care, and to hold accountable everyone else who has set out to do the same. Michelle shares her experiences and important information about navigating the healthcare system through her blog and delivers impactful talks to inspire others to join the battle against cancer.
Michelle Burleigh lives in Georgetown, Ontario, Canada, with her fiancé and two beautiful daughters. As a financial services professional over the last 17 years, and most recently working with financial advisors in pursuit of business process improvement, Michelle received an abrupt interruption to her career when she was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia. She has since learned to appreciate every day with her family and to live life to the fullest…in the present! As a recent cancer crusher, her life purpose is to educate people about acute blood cancers, help other cancer crushers feel less alone through their own journey and inspire others to join the fight against cancer.
While Michelle is still actively in treatment, she does her best to participate in volunteer efforts to help raise awareness and funds for cancer research. Here are some links to campaigns and media events which Michelle has been involved in to date.
A clip from the Our Sisters in Pink PJ Fundraiser benefitting the Canadian Assistance Services of Halton Hills and Princess Margaret Hospital. This was a special event for Michelle as CAShh provided significant support during the year she spent in IV treatment.
A clip from the Canadian Cancer Society’s Awards of Excellence in Cancer Research held in Toronto. On the 25th year anniversary of this ceremony, Canadian Cancer Society invited a patient to speak for the first time.
Coping with Cancer magazine publishes ‘Am I Lucky’. An article written originally by Michelle for the SoYouveGotCancer.ca website. Click here for access to the published article.
For Daffodil month, CHCH news interviewed Michelle Burleigh, Dr. Brian Leber, and Dr. Mick Batia for a look at some of the research being done at McMaster University and how it is impacting patient outcomes. Click here to see the interview.