November 11, 2021 by Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade (WICC)
Editor’s Note: In honour and celebration of Women and Insurance Cancer Crusade (WICC)’s 25th anniversary, Canadian Underwriter will be publishing each Friday a personal story of someone who has been touched by WICC’s fundraising activities in support of cancer care and research. In this second part of the series, there will be five stories. Canada’s property and casualty insurance industry has strongly supported WICC, which has set a goal of contributing a total of $25 million to cancer care and research by 2025.
If you ask what motivates Shari Dodsworth to support organizations like Women in Insurance Cancer Crusade (WICC) and the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), she might share her first experience with cancer. Around the time Shari was about to give birth to her first child, her father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was able to make a full recovery but the experience showed Shari the incredible value of cancer research, educational resources and the incredible support of others.
Early on in her insurance career, Shari participated in WICC events shortly after its inception. Together with WICC volunteers, she dedicated her time to funding cancer research. 25 years later, Shari sits on the WICC Ontario board alongside other insurance professionals. Shari explains, “I am very proud to work with everyone on the WICC board. Some of them are my professional competitors!” In fact, that is one of her favourite aspects of WICC for her; how the organization unites the insurance community. Shari enjoys engaging with others at WICC events, including the annual Gala and breakfast, so much so, that for the past five years, Shari has served as Co-Chair on the annual Relay for Life event committee.
Relay for Life holds a deep place in Shari’s heart since she participated in her first event while in university. The event is fun, inspirational and impactful, WICC has raised over four million dollars towards cancer research over the past 14 years. “That’s where you feel a part of that community. Unfortunately, we all have people who have faced cancer and we have the opportunity to honour them. At Relay we honour the participants of hope, those living with cancer. One story may have a happy ending and another can be incredibly heartbreaking. I find the event moving in so many ways,” Shari explains. Relay brings individuals together and for Shari, that motivates her to keep fundraising for cancer research Organizations like the CCS conduct research, deliver education, fundraise and promote volunteer efforts that all contribute to shrinking mortality rates on cancer and those statistics mean so much to Shari.
Once upon a time, Shari needed the support to get through a difficult time in her family’s life. Her advice to someone in a similar situation? “Speak up. Find the support that you can and talk about it. Use the resources that CCS has. There is support out there for you.”
Shari joined the WICC board in 2016. Shari currently serves as Senior Vice President, Ontario, Atlantic & Western Region at Northbridge Insurance.
Help support WICC’s 25 by 25 pledge, which aims to raise $25 million by 2025. Read more here: 25th Anniversary – WICC National