Montreal, January 26, 2024 – Driven by an extraordinary spirit, the Harding sisters, Cassandra and Katelyn, have faced the same rare cancer—Osteosarcoma—within months of each other. This rare form of cancer, also battled by the iconic Terry Fox, has become a testament to the strength and courage inspired by SaRC-Q co-founder Dr. Ramy Saleh.
Katelyn, a 19-year-old athlete with a passion for rugby and ringette, initially attributed her pain and numbness to sports injuries. However, an X-ray revealed a harsh reality—she, too, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, following in the footsteps of her sister Cassandra, who had completed her own treatments six months prior.
Both sisters, tragically losing their mother to cancer, prompted Dr. Saleh and the medical team to investigate a potential genetic link. Tests revealed the presence of the P53 genetic variant in both sisters, predisposing them to a higher risk of developing multiple cancers.
Dr. Ahmed Aoude, a spine and orthopedic oncology surgeon at MUHC, described Katelyn’s surgery as “one of the biggest surgeries in modern medicine.” Despite the complexity and duration of the procedure, the sisters, who have shared their journey on social media, continue to inspire other young patients.
Cassandra is now in remission, while Katelyn, halfway through chemotherapy, undergoes rehabilitation to regain her ability to walk. The Harding family, supported by the Montreal’s MUHC medical staff, remains a beacon of hope and strength in the face of adversity.
To follow their inspiring journey guided by SaRC-Q co-founder Dr. Ramy Saleh, stay connected with us on social media and visit our website for updates on sarcoma research and patient stories.
Source: Pamela Pagano, CityNews