My patients inspire me to run

For Dr. Erin Cordeiro, her patients inspire her every day. She’s thinking of her patients when she leaves the office, laces up her shoes and heads out for an evening run. It’s her patients who inspire her to fundraise for The Ottawa Hospital at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend.

Dr. Cordeiro is a breast surgical oncologist at The Ottawa Hospital, where she’s practiced for the past four years. Her practice is exclusive to treating patients with breast disease, primarily breast cancer. She’s been looking for a way to give back to those patients.

“I haven’t done many races over the years but I've always wanted to do one as a charity fundraising event on behalf of my patients. I see patients every day who are going through the challenges of a cancer diagnosis and every day of my life is very humbling. I am very grateful for the health I have and no one should take that for granted. Anything that I can do to help is why I'm running.”

Dr. Cordeiro was walking through The Ottawa Hospital one day when she spotted a Run for a Reason poster. That’s when she found what she was looking for and she signed up to support cancer research at The Ottawa Hospital.

“Seeing patients go through a cancer diagnosis or chemotherapy, and the strength that they show in facing the hardest thing they'll ever have to go through is what really inspires me. No matter how long of a run I have to do, I know it’s nothing compared to what my patients are going through daily, fighting for their lives.”

Research also motivates Dr. Cordeiro, as her work involves studies at The Ottawa Hospital. “My research involves quality improvement initiatives at the Breast Health Centre. We have a database that monitors quality indicators for breast cancer surgeries, among other things. We’re examining quality metrics and feedback mechanisms to ensure we're providing the best breast cancer care in the country.”

Leading up to Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, Dr. Cordeiro will be fundraising, of course, and training for the half marathon, which she’s running with her mom. “I started doing triathlons about two years ago. This year, I wanted to really focus on my running and try to improve that part of the race. My goal is to do an Ironman within the next couple of years.”

Finding a way to give back to her patients and to attain her athletic goals, The Ottawa Hospital’s Run for a Reason is the perfect fit for Dr. Cordeiro. “I'm really excited and looking forward to the experience”.