Janine Mayall is running in the Thanksgiving Day Races with a purpose.

Last Fall, Janine Mayall’s life was flipped up-side-down after a Radiologist at Guelph General Hospital spotted an abnormality on her left kidney.

The abnormality was identified as a result of a nuclear medicine bone scan and following this, the Radiologist immediately recommended additional diagnostic images. An ultrasound, a CT scan and an MRI were performed. Then in December, following an x-ray guided cystoscopy, her diagnosis was confirmed. Janine had bladder cancer.

Janine described her cancer as being “discovered by fluke.” That’s because the purpose of the first image that captured the abnormality was to monitor a pre-existing and completely unrelated health concern.

“I was sent for an X-ray on my skull because my migraines had changed characteristically. The X-ray was normal, and when I said I wanted a different test, my GP ordered the bone scan.”

Over the past year, Janine has endured aggressive chemotherapy treatment which she received at Guelph General and a complicated surgery to remove her bladder which was performed at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton.

Determined to put the experience behind her and continue on with life and all the things she enjoys, Janine registered for the Metalumen 5k as part of the Thanksgiving Day Races.

Janine is a runner and has run the Thanksgiving Day Races in the past, but admits she has never fundraised before. This year is different. She has set a fundraising goal of $1,000, and weeks out from the races, she has nearly reached her goal.

“I received such stellar support at Guelph General Hospital, from the cleaners to the doctors, and everyone in between. I want to give back to them, so they can help all that come after me” Janine stated as her primary motivation.

While preparing for a final protocol of radiology treatments to ensure the cancer was fully cleared, Janine’s journey took yet another turn. Another nuclear imaging bone scan identified some spots on her bones. Radiation is now cancelled, and she is in line for another aggressive round of chemotherapy.

“This change makes me more determined to walk, slow jog, or maybe run the Thanksgiving Day 5km because my chemo will have started by then” said Janine.

She is determined to participate and to show others “that it [cancer] is ok, that there is still life with and after cancer.”

The Thanksgiving Day Races have been taking place in Guelph since 1894, but in 2012, Race Director John Marsden of Speed River Timing adopted Guelph General Hospital as the beneficiary.

One of every two dollars spent on Hospital equipment at Guelph General Hospital comes from community.

Kind donations from members of our community purchased the Nuclear Medicine Scanner and nearly every other piece of diagnostic equipment used to investigate, confirm and monitor Janine’s cancer at Guelph General Hospital.

The Hospital’s fleet of 300 IV pumps, those used to deliver Janine’s chemotherapy treatments, were entirely funded by community.

The exceptional care that Janine received, and continues to receive, is in large part due to community support.

Janine’s fundraising effort, and that of every other runner who decides to fundraise, will impact the lives of many others who may one day find themselves in need of care from their community Hospital.

In the photo shown above, Janine is joined by her two sons outside of St. Joseph’s Hospital after her surgery.