Kelly Manning has three passions - her family, helping others and being able to give back to her community. She is an avid volunteer and is a committed member of the Pasqua Hospital Auxiliary for the past five years. Originally from Newfoundland, her husband’s work in the Canadian Armed Forces took them all over Canada, eventually landing them in Regina in July of 2004. After falling in love with the people of Saskatchewan, Kelly and her husband set down roots here, where they now enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren whenever possible.
On July 29, 2019, after enjoying some gardening, Kelly came inside to clean up when she noticed that one of her breasts didn’t feel quite right. To be safe and put her mind at ease, she called her doctor to make an appointment and was luckily able to get in the following day. After her doctor confirmed that there was indeed something unusual present, Kelly was referred for a mammogram two days later. When the mammogram confirmed that there was a mass in her breast, Kelly was told that further tests would also be needed so the doctors could get a clearer picture.
“I remember thinking to myself that it just can’t be breast cancer.” Kelly states. “I have no family history of cancer, no high risk factors and have been relatively healthy my whole life. It just can’t be.”
Despite a growing concern, and not yet knowing exactly what was wrong, Kelly tried to remain positive. She was referred for an MRI and to the Breast Assessment Centre at the Pasqua Hospital in Regina for a biopsy. The results of these tests confirmed Kelly’s fears - it was breast cancer. Immediately, a treatment plan was discussed and surgery at Pasqua Hospital was the first step proposed.
A cancer diagnosis is never a convenient thing, yet the timing of the diagnosis could not have been more unfortunate, as Kelly’s daughter Victoria was getting married the same week as the scheduled surgery. Kelly did not want this to affect her daughter’s big day in any way and after consultation with her doctor, Kelly postponed her surgery for two weeks, allowing her to be there for her daughter. It was very special and important for Kelly to share the special day with her daughter, and she was so grateful to her medical teams for working with her to allow that to happen.
During Kelly’s successful lumpectomy, the cancerous tissues was removed from her breast. After recovery from the surgery, Kelly began radiation therapy on Dec. 17, 2019, which coincidentally also happened to be her birthday.
“It was very important for me to maintain as normal of a schedule as possible.” Kelly says. “My family, the doctors, nurses and medical teams, as well as my friends and the volunteers at the Pasqua Auxiliary all made me feel like I was never alone and helped me keep as much normalcy to my life as I could. It helped put my mind at ease during a very stressful and worrisome time”
Kelly completed her daily radiation treatment in January of 2020, and is still monitored closely with regular checkups. Today, she can happily say that she has no ongoing cancer. She is extremely grateful to all the doctors, nurses, medical staff and volunteers for all the roles they played in her treatment; she is also thankful for Hospitals of Regina Foundation.
“We’re extremely lucky and thankful to have organizations like Hospitals of Regina Foundation that is raising money towards specialized equipment for our hospitals.” Kelly tells us. “At one point, everyone will need these medical services for themselves or a family member. Knowing that the doctors have the technology to treat a patient properly goes a long way for the patient’s peace of mind. To have top quality medical care and technology in your own community and not have to travel or be away from family, is simply priceless.”
“Kelly’s passion for volunteering through the Pasqua Hospital Auxiliary has made a difference to so many patients and families over the past decade. We are thrilled that when Kelly herself needed care to find and remove breast cancer, our hospitals had the technology it needed.” says Jessica Rawn, Director of Development, Hospitals of Regina Foundation. “Hospitals of Regina Foundation is devoted to investing funds to keep good health care local, and we are proud to work with partners like the Auxiliary, and volunteers like Kelly, to make that possible.”