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Grandmother to-be and cancer patient asks for support

Nadine Burke is crowdfunding to get to Alberta for the birth of her first grandchild.

3 min read
caption Nadine Burke in her Clayton Park home
Jeff Toth
Nadine Burke in her Clayton Park home
caption Nadine Burke in her Clayton Park home
Jeff Toth

Nadine Burke’s wish is to be present for the birth of her first grandchild and she’s asking the public for help.

Burke, 47, is battling thyroid cancer. She’s had multiple surgeries and is undergoing further treatments.

Plante, last month.
caption Plante, last month.
Jeff Toth

Her daughter, Chalene Plante, is due to give birth on March 13, in Red Deer, Alta..

Burke’s illness has prevented her from working, so she can’t afford the trip to Alberta.

That’s why Burke has turned to crowdfunding. She started a page at GoFundMe and she’s hoping to raise $1,800 to cover her flights and hotels.

“I want to be there,” said Burke.

Plante, a former firefighter, has been supportive of her mother’s crowdfunding efforts.

“I think it would be awesome for her to come out here, not just to visit with myself, but also to see her first grandson be born,” says Plante.

Plante, during her time as a firefighter.
caption Plante, during her time as a firefighter.
Jeff Toth

Burke has had difficulty getting support for her campaign. At the time of this writing, she had only raised $75 of her goal.

She worries that a comment accusing her of fraud affected the campaign.

“I was just flabbergasted. I didn’t know how to respond,” says Burke.

GoFundMe removed the comment and blocked the user, but the damage had been done.

“It is where it’s at now,” says Burke.

Burke has faced complications with her treatments as well. In September, Burke was one of 50 patients affected by flooding at the Victoria General Hospital. She spoke with CTV at the time.

Burke has a rare combination of two forms of thyroid cancer.

“They’ve read of it, but they’ve never actually had their own patient here in Nova Scotia,” says Burke.

Her radiation treatments can be so potent that she will have to remain in isolation for three to five days, for the safety of others.

Burke with Plante as an infant.
caption Burke with Plante as an infant.
Jeff Toth

As a result, while she’s with her daughter Burke may have to forgo treatment. She says it’s that important to her.

She’s lost a lot of family to cancer, including her own mother in March 2014.

Although she’s staying positive, Burke is prepared if the campaign doesn’t work out.

“I just told my daughter, if I can’t be there, take lots of pictures. I want lots of pictures,” says Burke.

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