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Ontario woman gets surgery date after having life-saving cancer procedure postponed repeatedly due to COVID-19

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A 30-year-old Ontario woman whose cancer surgery was postponed multiple times because of COVID-19 has secured a new date for her procedure.

Woodbridge, Ont. woman Cassandra Di Maria was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer in 2020 and has undergone 17 rounds of chemotherapy since then.

She stopped chemotherapy treatment in October to prepare for surgery, but it was postponed multiple times, leaving her “at a stand still.”

She feared her cancer would spread by the time she got a new surgery date and it would be too late for the procedure to have any benefit.

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On Friday evening, the 30-year-old said she received a call from an advocate at the Colorectal Cancer Resource and Action Network notifying her the surgery has been rescheduled for Jan. 26.

She said the organization contacted her and fought on her behalf after she went public with her cancer battle earlier this week.

Di Maria said the organization reached out to her surgeon and they were able to arrange a new date for her surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital.

“I’m super relieved. Fight for your life and good things will happen,” Di Maria told CTV News Toronto on Saturday. “I just hope it inspires people to really stand up for themselves.”

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In a statement to CTV News Toronto earlier this week, Mount Sinai Hospital said they are currently working at 43 per cent of their surgical capacity. 

cancer patient

“We know that any delay in care is stressful to our patients and their families, and our surgical teams are working to ensure timely access to care,” a spokesperson for the hospital said. 

Di Maria, who recently got engaged, said she wants to get past this hurdle so she can look forward to other things in life, like planning her wedding set for April 2023.

“I can finally have this surgery, recover, and hopefully move on with my life, putting this all behind me.”

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