Breast cancer survivor shares her story

When Laurel Burnham was diagnosed with breast cancer last year she was determined it was not going to take her life.

When Laurel Burnham was diagnosed with breast cancer last year she was determined it was not going to take her life.

With a positive mindset, she was given a clean bill of health during her recent checkup and is sharing her journey to wellness and healing at the Penticton Whole Foods Market on Monday.

“I was given my diagnosis of breast cancer on Earth Day, April 23, 2010. My first thought was I may have cancer, but cancer does not have me,” said Burnham. “I was determined to take as active and as positive a role in my own health and healing as possible.”

It also wasn’t going to take away her passion for organizing and running events such as the community markets. Having been a community organizer for over 30 years in Penticton, Burnham has been instrumental in Canada Day celebrations, the Penticton Night Markets, Saturday downtown markets and Naramata August Fair. She’s a founding member of the community gardens, set up an assisted living facility for seniors in Sun Village Lodge and presently serves on the board of Fest Events Penticton.

Burnham took three principles — eating healthy, exercising and an anti-cancer mindset — to tackle her diagnosis of breast cancer.

“I am not in better physical shape than I was prior to my diagnosis,” she said.

“My intention is to engage and inspire people to engage themselves wholeheartedly in the wonderful and exciting process of the lifelong journey of wellness and healing.”

Burnham will be speaking at a free event from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Monday held at the Wheatgrass Cafe at the Whole Foods Market.