Holleigh Vella

Triumph Over Adversity

Holleigh Vella’s Journey from Diagnosis to Survivorship

Holleigh faced a life-altering diagnosis on September 6th, 2022, at the age of 38, when she was informed about her stage 3 triple negative breast cancer with lymph node involvement. Genetic testing revealed that she carried a harmful BRCA1 mutation that is known to increase the lifetime risk of breast and ovarian cancer significantly.

Transitioning from a full-time 911 police dispatcher and mother of two boys to a full-time patient, Holleigh began treatment just three days later, enduring six months of chemotherapy and four rounds of immunotherapy.

March 20th marked a pivotal moment as she underwent a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, utilizing expanders. A week later, the news of clear cancer margins brought relief. However, her recovery took an unexpected turn. Admitted on April 1 for an infection at drainage sites, and later, on April 18th, for 11 days due to an infection in her left breast, Holleigh faced the emotional challenge of having the expander removed, leaving her flat.

Despite the unexpected setbacks, May 18th saw her embark on 16 rounds of radiation, concluding treatments on June 12, officially earning the title of a cancer survivor. Being a carrier of the BRCA1 gene, Holleigh planned surgery in September to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes, aiming to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.

Reflecting on her journey, Holleigh acknowledged the tough days, the ups and downs, but today she stands alive, well, and a testament to surviving cancer. Encouraging others facing a similar path, she advocates for living as normally as possible during treatment, seeking support, and holding onto the promise of brighter days ahead. The road ahead involves more surgeries, a personal choice, to reconstruct her breasts and continue embracing life beyond the challenges of breast cancer.

The research funded by Breast Cancer Canada focuses on improving techniques for breast cancer screening and detection. With your support, we can know more about breast cancer. And that helps us detect it earlier and treat it better for patients like Holleigh.
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Diagnosed with stage 3 triple-negative breast cancer, Holleigh’s journey included a long list of surgeries, treatments and unexpected setbacks. As a BRCA1 carrier, Holleigh now advocates for breast cancer prevention and early detection. She is also a strong believer of holding a sense of normalcy during treatment and embracing life beyond her breast cancer diagnosis.

Despite challenges, Holleigh concluded her treatment on June 12, officially earning the title of a cancer survivor.

The research funded by Breast Cancer Canada focuses on improving techniques for breast cancer screening and detection. With your support, we can know more about breast cancer. And that helps us detect it earlier and treat it better for patients like Holleigh.

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1 in 8 Canadian women
will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

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Gifting securities

Donating securities is becoming more popular, and supports Breast Cancer Canada just like cash donations. Gifts of publicly traded securities (stocks, bonds, mutual funds) are an easy, tax-effective way to make a contribution towards life-saving research that helps with early detection, better treatments, and ultimately  Securities can be of any size and given immediately, or you can bequeath them to Breast Cancer Canada in your will. Just like a cash donation, you’ll get a donation tax credit for your gift of securities.

Today, most securities are held electronically and are easily transferred from your brokerage account to our BCC brokerage account. Your Financial Advisor can make all the arrangements.

For more information, contact Natalina Hamilton: hello@breastcancerprogress.ca

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Bravery is beautiful. That’s why we encourage you to make a donation in honour of a loved one’s own experience with breast cancer. With your donation, we’ll send a email to acknowledge the dedication to the individual or family.

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Fact: thousands of companies will match donations made by employees.

It’s true, and it’s very generous. Want to know if your company will match your donation to BCC? Use the search tool below. It also has access to all the forms, guidelines, and instructions you need to submit a company-matchable gift donation today.

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Support life-saving breast cancer research every month of the year.

 

When you make a monthly contribution to Breast Cancer Canada, you provide stable funding for year-round campaigning and allow us to continue to support research projects across Canada.

 

To join, simply pre-authorize a monthly deduction from your credit card.

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Breast Cancer Canada, National Office
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You will need to provide us the credit card type, number and expiry date, and the amount you would like to give each month.

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Over the last 30 years, many generous donors have left a legacy to Breast Cancer Canada in efforts to advance breast cancer research.

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Leave a legacy. Plan for a future gift.

  • Leave a gift in your will
  • Donating a life insurance policy
  • Donate a TFSA, RRSP, or RRIF

Support Breast Cancer Canada with a future gift to create a better future for breast cancer patients. Your gift helps to save lives through early detection and improve outcomes with better treatments.

or more information, please contact Natalina Hamilton: hello@breastcancerprogress.ca


LEAVE A GIFT IN YOUR WILL

This is often called a bequest. It’s the simplest way to make a legacy gift. A gift in your will has no effect on your current income and your estate receives a charitable donation tax receipt. Here’s a sample of simple bequest wording : “To pay the sum of $_________ OR _______% of the residue of my estate to Breast Cancer Canada.”


DONATING A LIFE INSURANCE POLICY

Life insurance is a way to provide financial security for your family. If the needs of your family are already taken care of, a life insurance policy is a smart way to donate to charity including tax savings for your estate. Speak to your financial advisors for your personalized advice and learn how a gift of life insurance can work for you. Here’s the top-line on ways of leaving gifts of life insurance:


Bequeath your policy to Breast Cancer Canada for the future:

  • Name Breast Cancer Canada as the beneficiary of your policy. BCC will receive your insurance proceeds tax-free. Your estate will receive a donation receipt.


Transfer ownership of a paid-up policy to Breast Cancer Canada now:

  • Want to gift us your existing, paid-up policy right now? Make Breast Cancer Canada the beneficiary and owner of your policy. You will receive a donation receipt for the fair market value of the policy. BCC may redeem the policy now, or hold it and receive the face value in the future – however your gift can be put to best use.


Transfer ownership of a policy on which premiums are still owing to BCC now:

  • Premiums still owing? You can still opt to transfer your policy ownership to BCC. You’ll receive a donation receipt for the policy’s fair market value. Want to make it an ongoing gift? Transfer the ownership to BCC, and still continue to pay the premiums owing. You’ll receive donation receipts for those payments too.


DONATE A TFSA, RRSP, RRIF

Register a significant difference in the lives of those affected by breast cancer. Donate the proceeds of a registered account: Tax-free savings account (TFSA); Registered retirement savings plan (RRSP); Registered retirement income fund (RRIF). It’s a smart way to make a major contribution. Without reducing your current assets. Without subjecting the funds to probate fees. While reducing taxes on your estate through a donation receipt.

Making a gift like this is easy. Designate Breast Cancer Canada as the beneficiary of your registered account.  You benefit from the full use of your account(s) during your lifetime. We receive any remaining funds after your passing.

For more information, contact Natalina Hamilton: hello@breastcancerprogress.ca

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Corporate Donor

Support life-saving breast cancer research. A corporate donation is a simple and efficient way to demonstrate your corporate support.

To make a one-time or reoccurring corporate donation online, please click here.

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How to Sponsor

Thinking about becoming a corporate partner of Breast Cancer Canada? Amazing. work with all types of organizations. We’ll help you deliver results which are measurable. National or local.

A partnership with Breast Cancer Canada is a win-win. It improves employee engagement, boosts morale, fosters a tighter culture. It raises your organization’s profile and demonstrates your support for breast cancer research. To customers. To employees. To suppliers. Most of all – it makes a positive impact for those affected directly by breast cancer.

We’ll raise money for life-saving breast cancer research, together.

Let’s talk about building your program!

Contact Dawn Hamilton today to get started.
Email: hello@breastcancerprogress.ca
Phone: 1-800-567-8767 

To make an online corporate donation, please click here.

How to

Support an Event

Make a contribution to a fundraiser being held in support of Breast Cancer Canada. You can search for the organization or person you wish to support; or click on the event name to make a general donation to the Raise More initiative of your choice.

How to

Sponsor

Thinking about becoming a corporate partner of Breast Cancer Canada? Amazing. We work with all types of organizations. We’ll help you deliver results which are measurable. National or local.

A partnership with Breast Cancer Canada is a win-win. It improves employee engagement, boosts morale, fosters a tighter culture. It raises your organization’s profile and demonstrates your support for breast cancer research. To customers. To employees. To suppliers. Most of all – it makes a positive impact for those affected directly by breast cancer.

We’ll raise money for life-saving breast cancer research, together.

Let’s talk about building your program!

Contact Charlene Politano today to get started.
Email: cpolitano@breastcancerprogress.ca
Phone: 1-800-567-8767 or 416-352-8567

To make an online corporate donation, please click here.

If you would like to explore other ways to give, we invite you to learn more.

How to

Fundraise

Join the Raise More Challenge

The more money we raise, the sooner we can end breast cancer. The more time researchers have in the lab. The more technology they can use. The more support we can get. Advancements in early detection and personalized treatment are in reach, and with your help to raise funds, we can find a cure sooner.

There are many ways to fundraise – whether you want to create a competition or tournament, fundraise with your team, challenge your colleagues, host a pink party, have a bake sale or cook-off, the idea is to raise more for breast cancer research.

Breast Cancer Canada will empower you with all the tools you need for a successful fundraiser, and if you need more information, contact Dawn Hamilton at: dhamilton@breastcancerprogress.ca  

How to

Volunteer

Volunteers are Breast Cancer Canada’s most important resource, and the backbone of our organization. From helping build our PROgress research to helping breast cancer patients, to supporting events, special fundraising projects and administrative tasks, our volunteers are dedicated to making a positive, life-changing impact.

We ensure our volunteers have the best possible experience and apply the Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement.

You can help us end breast cancer by:

  • Volunteering with one of our fundraising campaigns. Or a BCC signature event
  • Helping with local community events where you live
  • Joining our PROgress research at a local hub
  • Assisting us with virtual office tasks

Learn more about our volunteer driven Regional Hubs.

Regional Hubs are an integral part of Breast Canada Canada. We connect communities and those committed to our mission to make the goal local. Together, we can save lives through advancing breast cancer research, coast to coast.

Connect to learn more about what is happening in your area: volunteer@breastcancerprogress.ca