Putting hope in your step.

Anna Rocca’s daughter Nicole was 22 when they walked into the doctor’s office back in 2012. Anna had a gut feeling something wasn’t right and her instincts proved to be correct: Nicole was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. While the news was heartbreaking, Anna felt at peace knowing the team at Princess Margaret would take care of her daughter.

Nicole soon went into remission but her cancer returned in December 2019. While COVID-19 prevented Anna from being by her daughter’s side during treatment, she says “Nicole and I have gotten through it together by being each other’s rock and strength. I am so proud to be her mom.” She adds, “Nicole is my hero.”

Unfortunately, Anna has also had several other family members affected by cancer. “I lost my uncle and both of my in-laws to the disease, and my dad is currently being treated for lung cancer. There’s a feeling of powerlessness that comes with a diagnosis. You never know if a treatment will work or if someone is going to get better.”

But now, she sees a reason to stay hopeful and keep moving forward. “The Weekend has given us back a sense of hope. I first heard about the fundraiser when my mother-in-law was being treated at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre for leukemia. I’d been struck by how caring everyone at the cancer centre had been, and I wanted to help fundraise for a future where they can continue to provide both care and, one day, a cure.”

“I’ve lost so many loved ones who once walked the halls of Princess Margaret,” Anna continues. “But it’s amazing to see the progress we continue to make in the fight against cancer. I’ll continue to walk with my daughter, family, and friends, and as a member of Team CIBC knowing that we’re getting closer to conquering this disease and ringing that final treatment bell!”