Steph is my WHY

My roommate was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of liver cancer in December of 2014 after many months of tests and uncertainty. After her diagnosis, Steph immediately began chemotherapy treatment as an inpatient at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. In April, she underwent surgery to have a portion of her liver and lymph nodes removed. After recovering from her surgery Steph has continued with additional chemotherapy treatments.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of her initial treatment Steph was forced to give up her University studies for the semester. Although she is currently continuing her treatment, Steph has chosen to continue her studies at the University of Toronto this semester.
Despite the lengthy list of set-backs and challenges Steph has encountered, she has maintained a constant brave face. Steph is characterized by her caring soul, unconditional friendship and endless confidence. Over the last 10 months I have been continuously amazed by her resilience and optimism in spite of everything she has been forced to face.
Throughout her battle with cancer, Steph has still remained an amazing friend to both myself, and all those around her. After reflecting on everything she has continued to do for me, I was reminded that the least I can do is to support her through this unimaginable situation. This is where the idea to fundraise for Princess Margaret occurred. The opportunity to fundraise for a cause so close to my heart while running an exciting half-marathon course couldn’t be more perfect for me. I had originally set my fundraising goal as $500.00 thinking that it would be a stretch to achieve. However, we have currently raised over $4,000.00 for Princes Margaret Cancer Centre (with still a month to go!). I truly believe the overwhelming response that has occurred is a direct reflection of my roommates’ incredibly infectious personality. While brainstorming, I realized that regardless of intention, not everyone may have the means to financially contribute, which is when I thought to begin collecting recyclables. About 5000 bottles and cans later, a lot of sorting, and some sticky hands, I was able to raise an additional $350.00 for the Princess Margaret Hospital.
The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre has made an extremely difficult situation infinitely more manageable. Being able to contribute to such an important and amazing organization has been an absolute pleasure. In addition, both my roommate and I can’t express how reassuring and motivating seeing the support literally “add up” has been.
Steph is truly one of the most inspiring, resilient and truly amazing individuals I have ever had the chance to get to know, and I hope to show even a fraction of the strength she exhibits daily during my run on October 18th.
To donate to Hayley’s webpage or read more about her roommate’s Steph’s story, please visit