A Cancer Survivor and her Journey

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I was diagnosed with breast cancer December 16. 2011. I was petrified, thinking that my life was coming to an end, as seen with so many others who have all gone before me. With the help of my family, daughter Yanique and my husband Arnold Rowe, we vowed to fight the dreaded disease with everything that we had. While going through my treatment, taking the cancer drug Letrozole, multiple surgeries and reconstruction, it hit me that I could do something with my life instead of moping and crying everyday.

It is said that in their lifetime, one in six women will be affected by breast cancer, so we have to fight to erase that fact. The thought of raising funds for the Centenary Hospital (which was my treatment site) was running through my mind, so I decided to work on it. I mentioned this brilliant idea to my doctors, and all they said to me was get well first, this is going to be too stressful on your body. I did not listen, and I went ahead and planned the first “Ms. Letna’s Healing Hope Brunch.”

As a “Breast Cancer Survivor,” I have benefited from the services of the Centenary Hospital, its team of doctors, Oncologists, nurses and volunteers. I pledged to give back to the hospital, so for my second year of this event I hope to raise enough funds this time to double the effort. If I can replace one pair of surgical gloves, or even an injection needle, I may be able to help save a life from the dreaded effects of cancer, especially breast cancer.

In my first year, 2013, I raised $5,500.00 which went directly to the Breast Cancer Department, and I am positive that lives were helped to be saved because of the effort. My goal is to increase or double that amount of funds to the hospital each year. I hope that over a five year period I can give the Cancer Department, especially the Breast Cancer Department, a gift of $30,000 or more. I will also be donating $1000.00 (CAD) which is equivalent to $100,000.00 (JA) to the Jamaica Cancer Society to provide Mammogram and Ultrasound for needy women who are suffering from Breast Cancer and cannot afford to pay for this service.

Dr. Naresh Mohan, Chief of Staff at the Scarborough Centenary Site, and Dr. Marietta Zorn, Plastic Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon will be the upcoming brunch guest speakers. Last year I had my Cancer Surgeon, Dr. Tracey Asano and Dr. Chiarotto, my Oncologist as the guest speakers.

How did I survive breast cancer and keep on doing the things I love to do? I don’t cry, I don’t complain; I pray, I go to work every day to ensure that my company continues to operate, I continue with my acting (most of the time playing “Mrs. Bonavich” in the Marcia Brown Production of “I Need To Know My Father,”), as well as continuing to entertain at banquets, parties, anniversaries and any other events where I am invited to perform..

I am now in discussion with the Olive Branch of Hope organization and with Taibu Community Health Centre in Scarborough to host a “Scarborough Breast Cancer Support Group” for ethnic women. My hope is that this service will enlighten women about the disease as well as give them support to cope with it and to help them a have a positive attitude which will give them the will to continue to live.

My wish is to see all women free of this dreaded disease at some time, if not in my lifetime, hopefully in the lifetime of the next generation.

The brunch takes place at the St. Peter and Paul Banquet Hall in Scarborough, Sunday, March 30 from 1 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $50 and proceeds support both RVC’s Oncology Program as well as the Jamaica Cancer Society. Find out more at www.MsLetna.com. Tickets are available to be purchased online at www.ticketgateway.com, or they can be arranged by visiting the Rouge Valley Health System Foundation’s RVC office at 2867 Ellesmere Rd. or by calling 416-281-7342.

Reposted from: http://foundationchat.blogspot.ca/

Jimmy Reid to Blaze the Stage at the 2nd Healing Hope Brunch

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Jimmy Reid was born in the parish of St. Catherine, Jamaica, with an ambition to become an accomplished recording artist. While laying the foundation for an illustrious career he received unanimous support from the local schools and churches amazed by his unique tone and electrifying stage presence which resulted in many performances.

He started his career in the late 60’s as he moved to West Kingston and began immediately working with Duke Reid Studio. Through this process he was privileged to meet and work with Eric Donaldson, Jimmy London, Max Romeo and Gregory Isaac to name a few. During this time Jimmy worked with The Beltones and the Cables recording a few songs in 1972. In 1974 he released his first single, “Time will Tell” that received great reviews and radio airplay both in Jamaica and Internationally. Jimmy migrated to Canada in 1975 and continued his passion for music by networking with top producers, performed on major shows and community events.

Reid formed another group named Jimmy Reid & the Rocking Moments and recorded the hit single “I’m so fed up”. His solo career began shortly after releasing “Rest Your Love on Me”, “Open the Door” and “My Tears Are Falling” all hitting #1 on the Toronto Reggae Charts. The first album “Are You Ready” was released in 1984 and Jimmy received his first award for “Best Single. He teamed up with producer Winston Richards and Keyboardist Jackie Mittoo to release the second album in 1986. Jimmy went on a tour to promote the album and received multiple awards for singer and entertainer of the year.

He has graced the stage with artists such as: Chalice, Lt. Stitchie, Luciano, Lloyd Parks, Fab Five, Dennis Brown and more. In 1995 and 2000, Jimmy was awarded the Canadian Reggae Music Award of Merit and Album of the Year “Secret Emotions”. Four decades later and still kicking, Jimmy produces an undoubtedly hit single “Nah Give Up”, that took the airwaves by storm hitting the #1 charts in France, Canada and Jamaica for over 8 weeks. (Top 20 Chart in France; Sound FM, Rebel Vibes, Hot 102 and Roots FM)

Jimmy is currently signed to TP Media & Marketing Group and is preparing to have his 1st ever Album Launch Event on Saturday March 22, 2014 at The Jamaican Canadian Centre.

Jimmy’s states “my aspiration is to continue in this journey as an inspiration for those who will hear my music and present nothing but the best in sweet authentic reggae music”.

Event Info:

Ms. Letna in Association with Rouge Valley Health System Foundation present the Healing Hope Fundraising Brunch benefitting the Cancer Department at Rouge Valley Centenary hospital and the Jamaica Cancer Society.

Date:  March 30th, 1-5pm

Guest Speakers: Dr. Marietta Zorn, and Dr. Naresh Mohan

Featuring: Jimmy Reid, Mr. Cooper, Mel C, Forest Creek Steel Band Orchestra, Marley Edwards, Rochelle Robinson and Jestiena Salmon and Fashion Designs by Hylton House Designs, Premier Jour, N.I.S.E. Clothing and much more!

Host: Marcia Brown

Admission: $50

Location: Sts. Peter & Paul Banquet Hall, 237 Milner, Scarborough Ontario, M1S 5E3  Canada

For tickets call:
Letna Allen-Rowe: 416-628-3119, 416-783-5813, 647-406-5668
Rouge Valley Health System Foundation: 416-281-7342, 905-683-2320 ext 1212
Purchase online: www.ticketgateway.com
or make a donation online if you’re not able to attend but want to contribute to the cause: https://2ndHealingHopeBrunchDonate.eventbrite.ca

ByBlacks.com writes “Miss Lou of Canada” Talks Life After Cancer

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You have probably seen Letna Allen-Rowe
doing her amazing impersonation of Jamaica’s most famous storyteller Miss Lou. Or you may have seen this veteran actress on stage in the Marcia Brown production of I Need To Know My Father. She has also been featured in a number of Jamaican productions including Against His Will and Oliver and Cinderella. Her film credits include Front Room, Oliver at Large and Sarge in Charge. But three years ago she stepped into her most difficult role yet – cancer survivor. And now she’s giving back to the very community that helped her shine through it, with the 2nd annual Healing Hope Fundraising Brunch.

Why did you want to do this fundraiser?
I was diagnosed in 2011 and after several major surgeries I decided I needed to put my energy into something. Staying at home and recovering was just not cutting it. The first fundraiser we did I was able to give $5,500 to the breast cancer department at the Rouge Valley Centenary Hospital. I feel like even if that money can go to buying one pair of gloves for the Operating room or one needle that gives the anesthesia, then I am impacting at least one person’s life. This year I also want to help the Jamaican Cancer Society. I went there last year and saw they were doing a day of free mammograms for women. That really touched me because I know the cost of that procedure, so I told them I wanted to help. And its the same idea of me being able to know that I can prevent one child or husband from crying over their mother or wife dying from cancer. Because a mammogram can save a life.

Take me back to when you were diagnosed.
It was right after we came back from a cruise with the cast of I Need To Know My Father. I went for my regular physical and my doctor said I should do a mammogram. I didn’t want to because I had already done it last year and remembered how painful it was. But she insisted, so I went ahead and did it. Two days later she called and said there was some unusual development in my right breast. I did a biopsy and it was actually my mother’s birthday, I found out it was in fact cancer. I felt a bitter taste in my mouth. That taste of discomfort. I wanted to cry, I wanted to scream. My daughter was with me and she held my hand. Thank God for her. The first person I called was Marcia Brown, who is also a survivor. To her surprise, I told her that I would continue my role in the play. I had my first surgery Dec 24 and I performed in the play January 7. It was very stressful because I was still recovering from the surgery.

How did you feel?
It was frightening. Because all you can see is your coffin. The only thing I knew about cancer was how to spell the word, and that when people get it, it’s a life and death situation. But it got me thinking deeper and got me to study my body and listen to my body. When I’m tired I rest. I eat well, choose good friends and good food, and exercise. I cut out alcohol and I got a new perspective on life; which is to just take it one day at a time and appreciate the things that are around you.

What was your experience like at Rouge Valley Centenary Hospital?
It was amazing, because they didn’t treat me as a number. And I made sure I was never seen as a number. I always make sure everyone knows my name and remembers me. I did 6 surgeries in 18 months, and they always made sure I got the best treatment. They would call me every 2 weeks to make sure I was ok, give me referrals for support groups and literature I could read. The Foundation gave me in a booklet called “Seeing is Believing”, about breast reconstruction and wouldn’t you know… I was featured in it!

Tell me a bit more about the fundraiser?
Well the CEO of the hospital Dr. Maresh Mohan will be speaking about cancer and survival and also shedding light on some different types of cancer. He’ll talk about the importance of getting tested and knowing your body, what sounds it makes, how to detect when you’re not well. Dr. Marietta Zorn who was my plastic surgeon will also be a guest speaker, talking about reconstruction before and after breast cancer, and the effect it has on women. We also have live entertainment. The wonderful Marcia Brown is the host and we have performances by Jimmy Reid, Mr. Cooper, Mel C, Marley Edwards. Rochelle Robinson and Jestiena Salmon will be doing creative dancing and modelling. And the Forest Creek Steel Band Orchestra will be there to keep us entertained all afternoon long.

For more info visit www.MsLetna.com

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Reposted from: www.ByBlacks.com

Marley Edwards will Sing to Raise Funds for the Healing Hope Brunch

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Marley Edwards began singing at age six with the Malvern Methodist Children’s Choir. She loves performing from time to time with her three brothers in a rap group called M-Brace, as the lead vocalist. She has always enjoyed singing, and is thankful to God for giving her this gift, as well as the opportunity to travel to many cities across Ontario, the US, and the Caribbean. Marley was Pickering Stars Runner-up in 2010 and Champion 2011.

She has had the privilege of sharing the stage with fellow Pickering Stars and headliners such as Kardinal Official. Her soulful voice lends itself to R&B, Rap, Jazz, and of course Gospel. Marley is presently attending George Brown College and works for Scarborough Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, and is always honoured to serve her community.

Find Marley Edwards online at the links below!

some text www.facebook.com/marley.edwards
some text@MszEdwards
www.starnow.co.uk/MarleyEdwards  

Event Info:

Ms. Letna in Association with Rouge Valley Health System Foundation present the Healing Hope Fundraising Brunch benefitting the Cancer Department at Rouge Valley Centenary hospital and the Jamaica Cancer Society.

Date:  March 30th, 1-5pm

Guest Speakers: Dr. Marietta Zorn, and Dr. Naresh Mohan

Featuring: Jimmy Reid, Mr. Cooper, Mel C, Forest Creek Steel Band Orchestra, Marley Edwards, Rochelle Robinson and Jestiena Salmon and Fashion Designs by Hylton House Designs, Premier Jour, N.I.S.E. Clothing and much more!

Host: Marcia Brown

Admission: $50

Location: Sts. Peter & Paul Banquet Hall, 237 Milner, Scarborough Ontario, M1S 5E3  Canada

For tickets call:
Letna Allen-Rowe: 416-628-3119, 416-783-5813, 647-406-5668
Rouge Valley Health System Foundation: 416-281-7342, 905-683-2320 ext 1212
Purchase online: www.ticketgateway.com
or make a donation online if you’re not able to attend but want to contribute to the cause: https://2ndHealingHopeBrunchDonate.eventbrite.ca

Mr. Cooper to Perform at the 2nd Healing Hope Brunch

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Anthony Cooper aka “Mr. Cooper” is a talented reggae singer with a consummate sense of grace and style. His unique way of singing reflects his rich culture which he makes evident with originality, poise and elegance. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Anthony Cooper got his first break in the music scene in 1988 when he performed at Jamaica’s prestigious talent contest, (Tastee Talent) and was awarded “The Most Talented Performer.”

Throughout his musical endeavors, Mr. Cooper matured into an accomplished vocalist, songwriter and producer and has earned several notches under his belt by working with some Jamaica’s most notable artists such as: Maxi Priest, Buju Banton and Sanchez just to name a few. Mr. Cooper’s cutting-edge lyrics and infectious story-telling songs have always kept his fans happy and career thriving while traveling all across North America and the Caribbean. Further along his music journey, Mr. Cooper was nominated for a Juno Award for Top Male Reggae Artist in 2003.

Mr. Cooper dubbed Reggae’s “Smooth Ruler” as he is the legendary Gregory Isaacs exact sound alike (Gregory’s nickname was the “Cool Ruler”) believes that music is the essence of emotions that bring people together. He balances his career in music with his role as a dedicated father. He hopes that his drive and ambition will serve as an example to young people so that they can accomplish their dreams through hard work and perseverance.

Find Mr. Cooper online at the links below!

some text www.facebook.com/Mistacooper
 some text @mrcooperreggae
Cancer Music Production: cancermrecords@gmail.com
www.myspace.com/mrcoopermusic 
www.indiemusicchannel.com/profile/AnthonyCooper 
www.cdbaby.com/cd/mrcooperandfriend 

Event Info:

Ms. Letna in Association with Rouge Valley Health System Foundation present the Healing Hope Fundraising Brunch benefitting the Cancer Department at Rouge Valley Centenary hospital and the Jamaica Cancer Society.

Date:  March 30th, 1-5pm

Guest Speakers: Dr. Marietta Zorn, and Dr. Naresh Mohan

Featuring: Jimmy Reid, Mr. Cooper, Mel C, Forest Creek Steel Band Orchestra, Marley Edwards, Rochelle Robinson and Jestiena Salmon and Fashion Designs by Hylton House Designs, Premier Jour, N.I.S.E. Clothing and much more!

Host: Marcia Brown

Admission: $50

Location: Sts. Peter & Paul Banquet Hall, 237 Milner, Scarborough Ontario, M1S 5E3  Canada

For tickets call:
Letna Allen-Rowe: 416-628-3119, 416-783-5813, 647-406-5668
Rouge Valley Health System Foundation: 416-281-7342, 905-683-2320 ext 1212
Purchase online: www.ticketgateway.com
or make a donation online if you’re not able to attend but want to contribute to the cause: https://2ndHealingHopeBrunchDonate.eventbrite.ca

2nd Healing Hope Brunch

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Ms. Letna in Association with Rouge Valley Health System Foundation presents the Healing Hope Brunch for the Cancer Department at Centenary Hospital.

Date:  March 30th, 1-5pm

Guest Speakers: Dr. Marietta Zorn, and Dr. Naresh Mohan

Featuring: Jimmey Reid, Mr. Cooper, Mel C, Forest Creek Steel Band Orchestra, Marley Edwards, Rochelle Robinson and Jestiena Salmon and Fashion Designs by Hylton House Designs, Premier Jour, N.I.S.E. Clothing and much more!

Host: Marcia Brown

Admission: $50

Location: St. Peter & Paul Banquet Hall237 Milner, Scarborough Ontario, M1S 5E3  Canada

For tickets call:
Letna Allen-Rowe: 416-628-3119, 416-783-5813, 647-406-5668
Rouge Valley Health System Foundation: 416-281-7342, 905-683-2320 ext 1212
Purchase online: www.ticketgateway.com
or make a donation online here if you’re not able to attend but want to contribute to the cause: https://2ndHealingHopeBrunchDonate.eventbrite.ca

 

Ms Letna’s Journey: A Cancer Story

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On December 16, 2011, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was petrified, thinking that my life was coming to an end, as seen with so many others who have all gone before me. With the help of my family, daughter Yanique and my husband Arnold we vowed to fight the dreaded disease with everything we had. While going through my treatment, taking the cancer drug letrozole, multiple surgeries and reconstruction, it dawned on me that I should do something with my life instead of moping and crying everyday.

It is said that in their lifetime, one in six women will be affected by breast cancer, so we have to fight to erase that statistic. The thought of raising funds for the Rouge Valley Centenary hospital (my   treatment site) was running through my mind, so I decided to work towards it. I mentioned this idea to my doctors, and they all said that I should focus on my recovery first as the process may be too stressful on my body. Being the determined person that I am, I went ahead and planned the first “Ms. Letna Healing Hope Brunch”.

As a “Breast Cancer Survivor,” I have benefited from the services of the Centenary hospital, its team of doctors, oncologists, nurses, and volunteers. I pledged to give back to the hospital and I now aspire to double my efforts for the second year running. If I can replace one pair of surgical gloves, or even an injection needle, I may be able to help save a life from the dreaded effects of cancer, especially breast cancer.

Dr. Naresh Mohan, chief-of-staff at the Scarborough Centenary site, as well as Dr. Marietta Zorn, Plastic Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon will be the upcoming Guest Speakers at the Healing Hope Brunch. Last year, my cancer surgeon Dr. Tracey Asano and Dr. Chiarotto my Oncologist were the guest speakers.

In 2013, the first year of this event, we raised $5,500 which went directly to the Breast Cancer Department. My goal is to increase or double that amount of funds to the hospital each year. I hope that over a five year period I can give the Cancer Department, especially the Breast Cancer Unit, a gift of $30,000 or more. I will also be donating $1000 (CAD) which is equivalent to $100,000 (JAM) to the Jamaica Cancer Society to provide Mammogram and Ultrasound for needy women who cannot afford to pay for this service.

How did I survive breast cancer while continuing to do the things I love? I don’t cry, I don’t complain, I pray, I go to work to ensure my company continues to operate, I continue with my acting, as well as continuing to perform at banquets, parties, anniversaries and much more.

I am now in discussion with the Olive Branch of Hope organization and with The Taibu Community Health Services in Scarborough to host a “Scarborough Breast Cancer Support Group” for ethnic women. My hope is that this service will enlighten women about the disease as well as give them support to cope with it and to help them have a positive attitude which will give them the will to continue to live.

My wish is to see all women free of this dreadful disease, if not in my lifetime, hopefully in the lifetime of the next generation.

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