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The travelling nurse

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​​ Lori Proctor-Giovannetti  

I’ve been a member of the health care team at Princess​ Margaret for more than 10 years. During that time, I've been inspired by the medical staff, volunteers and patients who courageously offer their time and skill to help battle a very difficult disease called cancer.

As part of UHN's Global Initiative, I inquired about how I could access support from the Princess Margaret and venture to the Philippines to offer my skills. People jumped to my aid and I was provided support from the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and the Global Nursing Practice Fund.

In the Philippines, one little girl living with cancer piqued my interest. She showed me a picture of herself before a deadly melanoma had disfigured her face. I so admired her strength and determination to beat a disease that kills so many in impoverished countries. Her resilience made me smile and her courage gave me strength.

So I would like to celebrate courage for patients all around the world who struggle each day. This little girl and many others we saw in the Philippines touched my heart. I returned to Canada feeling extremely grateful to be a nurse, to have obtained the skills and support provided by PMH and to share my story and hopefully inspire others.

I had the courage to take on this venture, and returned a better nurse and person for of it. I have so many people to thank in so many areas at UHN. Their courage, support and strength helped me make the decision to venture so far from home. I drew on the courage of many patients and staff I have met and I thank each of them.

Lori Proctor-Giovannetti is a nurse at Toronto's Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

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