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As part of Wee Watch’s 40 anniversary, the 44 home childcare agencies that make up the organization collectively donated $10, 000 to Ovarian Cancer Canada in honour of Shelley Davis.  As Shelley’s daughter, I was moved by this donation and reflected on her journey with both Wee Watch and her battle with cancer.

Wee Watch was a part of my mom’s identity for as far back as I can remember. From my earliest memory I can picture her, sometimes in her classic white Wee Watch blazer, with her 90’s perm sitting at our dining room table talking on the phone. Her dedication to her profession was always something I admired about her. She gave her all to everything she put her mind to. As a child you believe that your parent(s) can do anything, they stand up there on a pedestal with their cape and take on the world. As an adult I realize that that was just who my mom was, she didn’t have a cape, superpowers, or a magic wand – she was just awesome.

She was tenacious in everything she did, failure was not a word in her vocabulary and giving up was never an option even when things got tough. She kept this mentality with her thorough everything she did in life. When my mom was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer, she looked at this heavy and extremely scary diagnosis in the same way she looked at everything else – giving in or up just wasn’t an option.

Her cancer journey was a battle even before it began. She spent months advocating for herself prior to her diagnosis, knowing that something was wrong. After countless tests we finally had an answer, albeit not one we wanted to hear. Ovarian Cancer. As an ER doctor once told her, that’s not a cancer people survive. But boy was she determined to prove that man wrong.

Over the course of the next seven years, she became an expert at knowing her own body and knowing when something was wrong. She could tell when she needed a blood transfusion versus when she need hydration and wasn’t afraid to speak up. I remember the first couple of times when she would tell her doctor matter of factly, what she needed. The look on their faces, probably mine too must have been priceless, but sure enough 99% of the time she was right and knew exactly what her body needed. Not everyone is able to advocate for themselves in the same way that my mom could. If she were still with us, she would tell you to never take no for an answer, don’t let someone dismiss your concerns about your own body because you know it best, and always consult a second opinion.

If you want more information or want to make a donation, visit Ovarian Cancer Canada.