In loving memory of Dina Ollech

In October 2013, Dina underwent a surgical procedure for a not-uncommon issue. However, after the surgery, Dina learned that the doctors had found something very uncommon indeed. Lab tests had confirmed that she had an extremely rare and extremely aggressive form of uterine cancer.

Statistically speaking, a woman diagnosed with this extreme uterine cancer can expect to live another 16-18 months. However, Dina was never one to let anyone define her or dictate how she would live her life. As expected, she formulated a plan with her doctors to fight this disease at every turn. Over time, she underwent courses of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgeries, each time winning a battle against the disease, only to find some months later that it had regrouped and returned.

Despite the pain she felt or the discomfort of her successive treatments, she maintained a bright, defiant, and hopeful attitude. She also found the energy and drive to be active, whether at work, babysitting her spitfire of a grandchild, or exercising to stay fit. It amazed everyone to learn that shortly after a major surgery, Dina was found doing yoga in her hospital room!

In February 2016, Dina learned that her means of battling the cancer were virtually exhausted and decided to focus on living her remaining months as she saw fit - making the most of her time spent with her family, enjoying the tropical beauty of Hawaii with her children.

Dina passed away on May 15th, 2016. As a result of her fighting spirit, with some help from modern medicine, she lived far beyond the life expectancy for one with her disease. If fact, she doubled it! And during those two and a half years, she provided a role model for us: upbeat in daily life, optimistic about tomorrow, generous towards others, and brave in the face of adversity.

We respectfully welcome any contribution you may wish to make in tribute to Dina and her memory. All contributions will be used to defray remaining medical and funeral costs, and will be greatly appreciated, regardless of the amount.

To those of you who reached out and spent time with her on the phone or during a visit, Dina cherished each of those moments. They truly made a lasting impression. We, her family, are so grateful for that.

The following are some final thoughts from Dina:

Cancer Proud: From one person to another living with cancer.

These words bond us together, they mean a lot of different things to different people, which makes us all so unique.

This is what is means to me; For the many who have come before me, and, unfortunately, for the many who have yet to be diagnosed - this is our cheer!

For the many who have fought this horrible disease, endeared the treatments and have bravely beat it, you are survivors! You inspire us to fight on, you teach us to walk 'Cancer Proud'!

For the many who, unfortunately, found their cancer much to late, because some cancers are evil like that, you fought hard and sadly lost your battle. Our hearts are heavy because we lost a soldier, we lost a friend. You have still encouraged us to fight on and to keep walking 'Cancer Proud' because even through our tears, hopefully, we can make the fight a little easier for a soldier yet to come.

For all the times I have spent half of the day in the washroom because one part of my body wasn't agreeing with another. When I get much too weak and fall down. When my body cramps in distorted positions and hurts so bad. When I take the time to look presentable, because I always try to look my best, only to have to take a nap 10 minutes later because I've tired myself out. And, to all the times I've forced myself to eat even though nothing was really appealing, these are all the ways I walk 'Cancer Proud'.

Through all the times, I feel sad or when self-pity haunts me; when I feel weak and scared and find it hard to move forward; when I don't want to feel at all and wish I could just disappear, I push myself to move ahead, fight a little harder, pull myself together and stand up straight to keep walking 'Cancer Proud'.

For having a kind word for someone else, who is not having a great day, dealing with their own cancer. Giving them a small encouraging push to keep fighting on. To grieving someone I barely knew because he inspired me with his kind smile as he stood proud, fought strongly, gave us great words of wisdom, only to lose him 6 weeks later. You encourage me to walk 'Cancer Proud'!

For my family, my friends and my beautiful Grand-Daughter who is always a sparkle of joy; you all encourage me, you comfort me, you make my heart content by your kindness and support, you make me want to continue walking 'Cancer Proud'.

For my very special man, who walks beside me, who holds me up at times, who comforts me when I'm sick, who soothes me when I hurt, who holds me when I'm scared, who endures my anger without ever lashing back, who shows me true unconditional love; you fill me with so much strength, you keep me walking 'Cancer Proud'.

For my beautiful co-workers who help me when I'm weak, who cheer me on with encouraging actions, who always have kind words and helpful thoughts. You keep me walking 'Cancer Proud'.

For all the soldiers out there I have not met, who endure the treatments, struggle through the pain, deal with the weakness and keep bravely fighting on for so many reasons. One being, we're not ready to say 'Goodbye'. We all keep each other walking 'Cancer Proud'.

For my family, who so valiantly helped me fight my battle, whose encouragement and strength was a deterrent for failure, who loved me and comforted me so beautifully and purely. You stood me up and helped me walk 'Cancer Proud'.

Dina Ollech
November 2015
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Kim Panknin Blunk 
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