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By the time Nancy McMillan took to the stage to address participants and volunteers at the third BRIGHT RUN, she was three years past the start of her own cancer “process.”

She believed then – and still believes – she is “in a better place” after her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. “I’m not shy and I’m not afraid to share my story. I want to take the stigma and fear away from cancer,” Nancy said. “It’s not scary; it’s something you need to work through.”
Nancy has been involved in the annual BRIGHT RUN since Day One, volunteering as the event chair and doing anything and everything that needs to be done to ensure the event succeeds each year. Clearly, Nancy and the BRIGHT team are doing it right. Heading into its 10th-anniversary celebration, the BRIGHT RUN has raised about $2.8 million and supported 15 important breast cancer research projects.
Between now and Sept. 9, we will profile the courageous folks who have been our survivor spokespeople through the years. Nancy, a now-retired private banker with Scotiabank, was diagnosed with breast cancer in the fall of 2007. She had a lumpectomy and several lymph nodes removed and started chemotherapy that December. Chemo was followed by radiation and hormone therapies.
Nancy is a bundle of non-stop energy, motivating others through her own super-active involvement the BRIGHT RUN. She gets things done, fits the right people into the right roles, and constantly works to outdo herself by coming up with fresh, sometimes off-the-wall, fundraising ideas. She is captain of McMillan’s Madcaps, a dedicated team of family and friends that raises money for the BRIGHT RUN each year. She speaks to a range of groups, including committed and potential community partners, she writes articles for print media and she appears on radio and television to promote the BRIGHT RUN.

In 2014, she was named a Hamilton Woman of Distinction for her volunteer work with the BRIGHT RUN.

Why does she do all this?

“The BRIGHT RUN is a time of celebration and remembrance for the breast cancer family at the Juravinski Cancer Centre – staff, patients, relatives and friends,” she said. “That’s important, but what’s more important is the research being done – right here, right now, in Hamilton- because of the money raised by the BRIGHT RUN.
”Yes, we have a lot of fun. Yes, it is a very moving, often deeply emotional experience to participate in the BRIGHT RUN,” she said. “But the bottom line is the research we can fund, research that will improve the breast cancer process for those who come next. That is what it’s really all about.”