U of A Dental Hygiene students pay tribute to instructor

University of Alberta students from the School of Dentistry's Dental Hygiene program walked in the Ovarian Cancer Canada’s Walk of Hope to raise funds for ovarian cancer and show their support for their professor.

Cheryl Deslaurier - 16 September 2020

On September 13, 'Team 4 Fighters' participated in the Ovarian Cancer Canada’s Walk of Hope. This team was formed through the efforts of Alanna Blanchette, a Dental Hygiene (DH) student from class of 2021.

This was not just a charity walk, but a walk for Patty Gainer who was recently diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. Patty is a DH instructor at the School of Dentistry. Her prognosis for the disease is not good. When the students found out, they rallied around her by launching a fundraising campaign and to show her love and support.

"Our main goal was to recognize Professor Gainer and to show that she was not fighting this battle alone," said Blanchette. "Now, with everyone's generosity, we were able to bring both funds and awareness to support ovarian cancer fighters everywhere."

The team stopped at Gainer’s house along their walk path where she was outside on a lawn chair waiting for them. They did not disappoint. They showed up wearing their masks, holding inspirational signs and with tears in their eyes. Gainer appeared overwhelmed by the event, but in a good way, as peeking out from her mask were tears; tears of joy we suspect.

Through this inspirational journey of hope, Team 4 Fighters raised over $18,000 with donations still being accepted.

Update October 8: Team 4 Fighters raised $21,610. Donations to the campaign are closed, but you can still donate to Ovarian Cancer Research.

For more coverage on this story, view these links:

Global News story
Edmonton Journal story