CORNWALL, Ontario – When Cornwall native Elizabeth Dessureault was given a grim diagnosis at the age of 26, while pregnant, she refused to be a victim.
The 26-year-old is helping to change the face of lung cancer, with a little help from Piloxing with Sarah Millar.
The instructor is dedicating her upcoming weekly class (a combination of pilates, boxing, and dance) to her longtime friend. Since it’s a black light event, organizers encourage participants to wear white.
The ‘Just Breathing for Liz’ fundraiser and silent auction takes place at the Char-Lan Recreation Centre in Williamstown on Thursday, November 12, starting at 6:30 p.m.
Admission is $8 per person. All proceeds go to Lung Cancer Canada.
“This is a chance for me to create awareness and help end the stigma,” said Dessureault. “I am so very appreciative that Sarah has decided to run this event, and am immensely grateful for people like her who go above and beyond to help the cause.”
Born and raised in Cornwall, Dessureault attended Viscount Alexander Public School and Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School.
In 2013, she moved away to teach in Fort McMurray, Alberta, where she met her husband Dax, an RCMP officer.
While five months pregnant, Dessureault received a crushing blow – she was diagnosed with lung cancer.
Having never been a smoker and otherwise healthy, it came as a huge shock for her and her loved ones.
Dessureault has since moved back to Ontario and is currently living in Ottawa with her husband, and their newborn son, Jack.
“Come hear about Elizabeth’s journey,” said Millar. “We are inviting everyone out to this event to get the facts about lung cancer and to challenge our own lungs in a great workout. There is so much stigma around lung cancer, and that has to end – it begins by getting the awareness out.”
In addition to the “Just Breathing for Liz” fundraiser that is being organized Thursday, Dessureault’s ‘Just Breathe’ bracelets continue to help create awareness and funds for lung cancer research.
The $15 bracelets are available online: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/FromLizziesLungs?ref=search_shop_redirect.
“When I was first diagnosed, thinking of myself as a “cancer patient” was a very depressing thought so I wanted to put a positive twist on these bracelets by adding some luck instead,” said Dessureault. “I decided not to put the traditional cancer ribbon on these bracelets and instead chose to put a four leaf clover since I was born on St. Patrick’s Day. I wanted to help remind all those who are fighting to stay positive, and know that with a positive attitude, an incredible medical team, groundbreaking research, and some good luck on your side, anything is possible.”
Click here for the Facebook event page.
Click here to learn more about Elizabeth Dessureault’s journey.