Nancy McMillan is a retired banking professional, having spent 33 years in branch and private banking. She is also a breast cancer survivor, “graduating“ from what she calls the Juravinski Cancer Centre breast cancer survivor (BCS) program in 2008.
Nancy has participated in every BRIGHT Run since the first one in 2008. Her team, McMillan’s Madcaps, is consistently one of the top-ranked fundraising teams.
As the BRIGHT Run’s event chair, Nancy is a whirlwind of activity and ideas. She works hard to make the BRIGHT Run the best experience it can be for participants, volunteers and community partners.
In 2013, Nancy was named a Hamilton Woman of Distinction in recognition of her volunteer involvement with the BRIGHT Run.
Dr. Mark Levine
One of the founders of the BRIGHT Run, Mark Levine was invested in the Order of Canada in 2017 for “his contributions as an oncologist, researcher and clinician who has developed a number of new treatment regimens that have become the Canadian standard in clinical practice.”
With a career spanning more than 35 years, Mark saw in his clinics that for many breast cancer patients, participating in an organized run was part of their healing Journey. After treatment left them weakened physically and emotionally, Mark realized that training for and participating in such an event was empowering and exhilarating for patients.
He believed a local event was important because it would raise funds for breast cancer research in Hamilton. Although he has retired from clinical practice, Mark remains an active member of the BRIGHT Run executive committee and writes for the BRIGHT Run’s monthly eNewsletter.
Advertising, Marketing and Communications
BRIGHT Run Advertising, Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Steve Ewoniak survived breast cancer in 2018.
In 2020, he was proud to serve as the first male survivor spokesperson for the first-ever virtual BRIGHT Run. In this role, he met many people who have walked the same path and he admired the strength and courage he found in the families who have experienced the breast cancer journey.
After a wonderful and uplifting experience as survivor spokesperson, Steve was eager to support the work being done through the BRIGHT Run. He was encouraged to join and lead the Advertising Marketing and Communications Committee, a team of dedicated, creative people who strive to promote the event through the web, social media, print, video, and e-newsletters.
As a Senior Associate at a full service brokerage firm, Steve focuses on helping people to identify and reach their financial goals. Passionate about giving back, Steve’s coworkers helped him to raise over $30,500 for breast cancer research in his first year with BRIGHT Run.
Lee Prokaska retired from The Hamilton Spectator in 2015, after 35 years as a reporter, editor and editorial writer. She is also a breast cancer survivor who participated in the first BRIGHT Run, which took place almost three years after she finished her breast cancer treatment. Retirement gave Lee the opportunity to become more involved in the BRIGHT Run, taking on responsibility for the content of the BRIGHT Run’s eNewsletter. She also writes about the BRIGHT Run and its people for area newspapers and helps BRIGHT Run members write speeches, articles and letters. More recently, Lee became the coordinator of the BRIGHT Run’s successful annual silent auction, as well as putting together gift baskets for the penny sale.
“Funds raised through event day are critical in funding some of the pivotal initial investigations that go on to form the basis for larger grant applications nationally.”
Kathie Ward – Event Day
Kathie is a registered nurse who retired in 2018 after 44 years, the last 16 or so as a member of the breast disease site team at the Juravinski Cancer Centre (JCC).
She is also a breast cancer survivor who says her 1998 diagnosis changed her life. She formed intense lifelong friendships after joining a dragon boat team of breast cancer survivors. And after years of intensive care nursing, she moved to the JCC, caring for cancer patients every day.
Those patients wanted a local event, a way to pay it forward to the cancer centre where they received treatment. Kathie sees the BRIGHT Run as her extended family and she loves the electric atmosphere of event day. She was one of the founding members of BRIGHT Run in 2008.