Cancer survivor advocates for First Nations patients
posted by Bob Mills
Erinn Monture is a Mohawk of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. In December 2015, she was diagnosed with Stage 3C Ovarian Cancer. Following many rounds of intense chemotherapy, doctors pronounced her in remission. But the cancer came back only 10 months later.
For most people this would be devastating news, but for Erinn, it just fueled her desire to fight on. And not just for herself, but for other Indigenous people too.
After recovering from her first round of chemo, Erinn collaborated with Six Nations Health Services to create the “Haudenosaunee Guide to Your Cancer Journey”. She also created the ChemoBag® program, which provides newly-diagnosed Indigenous cancer patients with a “care package” of gifts that are generously donated by national sponsors.
I first met Erinn early in 2018, when she approached us to help her in reaching out to other First Nations communities. It was obvious at our first meeting that she was an extraordinary person with some very ambitious plans, so we signed on to help.
Since then, we’ve worked together to create a brochure and a direct mail piece to tell her story, and we’ve introduced the mainstream media to her project. Erinn is a natural for interviews and we’ve organized several so far, with CBC Hamilton, the Hamilton Spectator, Brantford Expositor, CHCH TV, the Globe and Mail, and the Indigenous newswire service, NationTalk. Each interview spawns new media leads and lively conversations on Twitter and Facebook.
We’re continuing to help Erinn and the Cancer Awareness and Resource Centre that she’s established at Six Nations. If you would like to learn more, or want to help out, you can visit her website at www.ecaarc.ca, or contact us here at Pier 8 Group.