Patty Sharp’s Story

The Power of a Promise

In 2008 Patty Sharp, a nurse at NBRHC, lost her close friend to ovarian cancer. Shelley Ackroyd was 55 and a proud mother of three. She bravely fought with everything she had for eighteen months, always maintaining hope that she would overcome her illness.

“Shelley was always so healthy,” says Patty. “Even before being diagnosed she was always the one lathering on sunscreen and eating well. She loved nature. When we went boating she would wash her dishes with sand and take special care to protect the environment as well as herself, laughing as she did it.”

Tragically, a year and a half after being diagnosed, Shelley lost her battle. Just three years later, Shelley’s husband Alan also lost his battle with cancer.

“You just never know,” says Patty.

Before Shelley passed, Patty promised that when she retired, she would shave her head, in honour of her friend. Patty retired Monday, June 8th and raised money to help cancer care at NBRHC.

Patty celebrated her retirement by shaving her head in memory of her friend Shelley. She raised over $6,000 for Cancer Care at your hospital.

“After 7 years I fulfilled my promise!” says Patty. “I am so proud to have been able honour Shelley in this way.”

Thanks to you, Patty was able to raise over $6,000 for Cancer Care at NBRHC.

“I’m blown away by the support I received. My hope is that this will help other brave women like Shelley. It is meaningful for me to be able remember her in this way,” said Patty. “It’s even more special that I can have an impact on the place I have worked for so many years.”

Patty’s ripple effect began shortly after she announced she would raise funds and shave her head. Eight friends and colleagues joined her in her fundraising initiative. Brent Robinson (Bull), Tracey Lariviere, Linda Boyle, Jeff Mailloux, Frank Beaulieu, Kim Groulx, Duncan Sharp and Mike Boyle all shaved their heads (or beards) with Patty.

“I’ve worked with Patty for many years,” said Bull. “I remember when Shelley passed away and I related to what she went through because of my own experiences.”

Linda Boyle, who lost her mom to ovarian cancer 30 years ago knows first hand how difficult losing someone close can be.

Patty Sharp and Group

“Being able to shave my head alongside Patty was meaningful for me, not only because I got to help Patty and celebrate my mom, but also because donations benefit the hospital I work in and the patients I care for. I am helping others in my community going through the same treatments my mom and Shelley did,” said Linda.

Tracey, who has lost many friends and family members to cancer, expressed a similar reason for wanting to help Patty.

“I wanted to help because I think it’s important that we support each other. No one, young or old is immune to cancer,” she added.

Patty, Bull, Tracey, Linda, Jeff, Frank, Kim, Duncan and Mike shaved their heads and beards on Monday, June 8th, the day Patty retired.

 “A special thank you to everyone who supported me through donations, encouragement and kind words. It was an honour to fulfill my promise to Shelley and to help others receive the care they need,” says Patty.