Chatham-Kent councillor Melissa Harrigan reveals she has breast cancer

Chatham-Kent councillor Melissa Harrigan reveals she has breast cancer

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A Chatham-Kent councilwoman says she will be temporarily stepping back from duties after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

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count. However, Melissa Harrigan said she hopes to continue raising awareness about the disease in the meantime.

Harrigan, who represents West Kent Parish, announced on December 15 that she was suffering from invasive ductal carcinoma, the diagnosis having been made recently after a series of tests.

“I have breast cancer. It’s hard to say, but sharing it makes me feel less alone and more true to the way I’ve lived my personal and professional life with transparency and advocacy,” she said in a social media post. Contribution.

The mother-of-three said she has been monitoring a long-standing lump. However, with a close friend who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, she said she “felt an internal call to action” to advocate for more testing.

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“I’m glad I did it. This year, 28,600 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. I never thought my name would make the count,” she said.

“The news was shocking and unexpected, but now it’s time to come up with a plan. It is very early on in this journey and details of a comprehensive treatment approach by my treating physicians are pending.”

Harrigan was first elected in 2018 and successfully retained her seat in the October local elections.

She will step down from the council in the coming weeks and focus on treatment and recovery, adding that she appreciates the “understanding and patience” of the community.

“It’s a personal choice to make this public, but sharing my experience makes me feel cancer makes sense and I hope to continue to share it with you as I’m on my journey of hope that others can,” she said.

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Lauren Anderson, a newcomer to the council table, also represents the community.

In the publication, Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff offered his full support.

“We are all devastated by this unexpected news regarding Coun. Harrigan’s breast cancer diagnosis and will be with her every step of the way. count. Harrigan was a strong advocate for many important causes. It is our turn to support them.”

Canniff said the council will determine the way forward in January to temporarily fill Harrigan’s roles on the council and committees.

“Right now, our focus is on splitting Coun. Harrigan’s desire to share her message and have a little time to work on her transition plan,” he said.

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