Kevin Couture smiled slightly as his new puppy Turtles jumped up excitedly at the sight of another dog.
At 12 weeks old, Turtles was excitable, but Couture was in a sombre mood. Sunday (Sept. 11) marked the return of the Greater Victoria leg of the Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope designed to fight a disease that has drastically impacted the lives of many who gathered in Colwood at West Shore Parks and Recreation Sunday morning. Couture’s wife Maria Wilkie died in 2017 of ovarian cancer at the age of 43 after a three-year battle with the disease.
“She lived such an amazing life that has touched so many people,” said Couture. “So it’s personally important to just gather and remember and it’s important to hopefully make sure that ovarian cancer isn’t as devastating as it is right now in the years to come.”
Returning for the first time after the pandemic, Team Wookie – so-called after Wilkie’s nickname – and more than 100other participants took part in the walk to raise money for Ovarian Cancer Canada. The event is one of more than 20 held simultaneously in cities across the country to raise money. The Greater Victoria leg of the event has been running since 2006.
“It does my heart good too, knowing that there’s still all of these people thinking about Maria, celebrating the life that she had,” said Couture. “I feel very fortunate because we had a life of no regrets. We lived every moment and that’s a blessing now because it’s easy to put stuff off or small stuff get you. But we didn’t – we enjoyed a life together that I think many people don’t ever have that, and I’m grateful.”
Those interested in donating can find more information at ovariancanada.org.