The Movement was proud to introduce Jackie Rochefort, former goaltender for U Sport’s Nipissing Lakers, as the first female MM27 Ambassador in September 2017.
A co-captain of the Lakers and Psychology Major at Nipissing University, Rochefort believes having a voice in the community is important, while recognizing that being an Ambassador gives her the opportunity to show young people that they can talk about anything they may be going through.
After a season filled with adversity in 2016-17, Rochefort spoke out about coming face-to-face with the C-word: Cancer.
“By sharing my story, I hope that I can help others in a similar situation, or anyone that can relate to me,” the goaltender said.
“I found a lump on my abdomen,” the Ajax, Ontario native recalled. “After many tests, it was found that it was much more serious than we thought. I was then sent to a cancer treatment centre to perform more tests to try and decide what was going on.”
“After a short period of time, it was decided that I needed to have surgery within the next week,” Rochefort continued. “After the surgery was done and the mass was removed, it was diagnosed as a low malignant ovarian tumour. Obviously for anyone, and especially me being so young, it was one of the scariest moments of my life hearing the C-word.”
An experience unlike any other, Rochefort said it was a tough time that prompted a lot of emotions she had never felt before. Dealing with those emotions came down to support from her family, friends, and teammates.
“For me, being able to talk about what happened and being able to lean on my support system was the best thing I could have had,” she explained, adding that after everything, the whole mass was removed without anything spreading — eliminating the need for chemotherapy or radiation.
Overall, Rochefort shared that the most important thing anyone can do, especially in a vulnerable situation, is to accept help.
“I think for me, it was very important to lean on the people close to me to get through the tough times, which made me a better person today,” she said.
“It’s important to know that it doesn’t make you any less of a person, or an athlete, to ask for help.”
Stay up to date with MM27 Ambassador Jackie Rochefort on Twitter.