Seven years ago, Mary Antonenko was diagnosed with Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer. Statistically one of the deadlier forms of cancer, Antonenko faced the long road to recover with courage and strength, supported by her family and friends. She survived the worst of this disease that impacts so many people, started working at the local Peavey Mart three years later, and life continued; that is until March 2018 when, after a routine check-up with her doctor, Antonenko was once again diagnosed with cancer.
Not the sort of lady to let this get in her way, Antonenko has been undergoing regular chemotherapy treatments in Regina and travelling back and forth from Estevan to the Queen City almost weekly.
"I have a different way of looking at things," Antonenko told Discover Estevan. "I just think, do what we need to do and let's move on."
With force, she added, "I am not going to let this take me, I'm fighting it!"
In that spirit, Antonenko's family, friends, and colleagues have rallied around her to provide her with support during this time. A community fundraiser was organized for Saturday, September 8th by C&L Construction to assist Antonenko with the costs of travel and time away from work. The savoury smells of BBQ lunch and Taco-in-a-Bag wafted through the Peavey Mart parking lot this Saturday and many community members were flocking to the grill in support of Mary Antonenko.
When asked what she would like to share with the citizens of Estevan, Antonenko responded;
"I just really, really appreciate all the support. And not just today; on a daily basis. I have the best support system, friends, family, everyone."
Antonenko will be walking on Sunday, September 9th in the Ovarian Cancer Walk of Hope in Regina. This is her seventh year participating in the walk. Afterwards, she will be returning to treatment, which should finish before the wintertime.
They raised a total of $1700 between the BBQ sales and donations.