Helen Storey

Donor pays it forward

Helen Storey
Thanks to her legacy to ovarian cancer research, Helen Storey is still looking after others.

Ovarian cancer can be a tough diagnosis to hear – the cancer is frequently discovered at an advanced stage, reducing a woman’s odds of survival. Helen Storey didn’t have much time to react to the unexpected news; she underwent surgery that same week.

Helen, who was 80 when she was diagnosed in 2007, saw her cancer go into remission for 4 years before it recurred.

“Even when she was very sick, she was determined to be as positive as she could be and practical about the future,” says Mary Lou Fitzgerald, the eldest of Helen’s 3 children.

When it was clear that further treatment wasn’t an option, Helen made a gift of $25,000 to ovarian cancer research through the Canadian Cancer Society. Her legacy is supporting the work of a researcher at the University of Alberta who is investigating whether a new approach can be used alone or in combination with conventional chemotherapy to treat advanced ovarian cancer.

Making such a generous gift is in keeping with how Helen lived her life, according to her friends and family. After training with the Grey Nuns to be a nurse at Edmonton General Hospital, Helen married husband Clifford and built a full life for her family and herself.

Helen was known for going out of her way to look after those around her. She died surrounded by her family in July 2013. Thanks to her legacy to ovarian cancer research, she is still looking after others.