The Fight To End Cancer is made possible by many people – our sponsors, fighters, but also, our volunteers and committee members. We want to take you behind the scenes of #FTEC2016, to meet the people who are fighting cancer outside of the ring…
OUR HERO IN THE FIGHT TO END CANCER | JULIE VAN DUZEN
How did you get involved with Fight To End Cancer?
JV: I got involved with the Fight to End Cancer in 2013. Rob Gorican was fighting and introduced me to Jennifer Huggins. Jen was looking for a Stage Manager for the event and I have been Stage Managing for the last 17 years.
This will be Julie’s 4th year with FTEC as the Stage Manager for the gala event held at the Old Mill Inn in Toronto. “I work closely with Rob and Jen helping to execute the production part of the evening,” Julie notes. If you have ever attended a FTEC gala, you have seen Julie’s handy work in the cueing, lighting, and overall execution of the gala.
Why is the Fight To End Cancer important to you?
JV: I got involved with FTEC in 2013. Jen was looking for a Stage Manager and the opportunity was presented to me. This came at a challenging time for me and my then fiancé Geoff. Geoff had just been diagnosed with brain cancer. He had undergone surgery to remove the tumor and was going through radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
I felt helpless watching him go through this and wishing there was more I could do. Having the opportunity to work on the Fight To End Cancer that first year helped me to feel like I was actively doing something to help him as he was going through his cancer battle. Geoff attended the Fight To End Cancer the first year I was involved. For us that was a small victory. He had just finished his radiation treatment and we were moving forward with our lives the best we could. We were married 3 months later and this past November we just had our first baby, Henry. We have come along way in the last 3 years since Geoff’s cancer diagnosis.
Our lives are what they are because of research done by places like Princess Margaret Hospital. Geoff now helps out with the cancer benefit. This is a project that we both feel so passionately about and are so happy to be a part the of FTEC team.
Tell us about a day in the life of you.
I work as a Hearing Instrument Specialist as well as Stage Managing for community and professional theatre companies.
Right now I am off on maternity leave. We are so blessed to have Henry in our lives. After Geoff’s chemo and radiation treatments we weren’t sure that we would be able to have children. My days are filled with cuddles and smiles and laughs from our little miracle baby.
Thank-you to Julie for four great years working behind the scenes for the Fight To End Cancer.
We are so grateful for all your hard work and the passion you bring to the gala evening and are so grateful for everything you and your family have done for our cause!