Meet the Models: Joan Walker

February 12, 2024

Presented by RBC Wealth Management, Wellspring’s Well Dressed for Spring is a fashion event like no other. Hosted by Canadian fashion icon Jeanne Beker on March 27, 2024, the evening features models who have been touched by cancer, either having been diagnosed themselves or as a caregiver to someone with cancer. For more info, visit:

When Joan Walker was diagnosed with breast cancer, life turned on its head.

“I was just shocked. I thought, it can’t be me. Not that I stereotyped what a cancer patient looked like, but it wasn’t anything I was even worried or thinking about for myself. I was in denial,” Joan says.

Joan knew something wasn’t feeling right in her breast and sought advice from her family doctor. Initially, a mammogram and a self-examination found nothing. But months later, the funny feeling was still present.

Joan advocated for her body, saying she knew her breast shouldn’t be feeling this way. So, she went for a second opinion and underwent a mammogram, ultrasound, and a biopsy that ultimately discovered her breast cancer. “All I can say to people is know your body and listen to it,” says Joan.

Treatment was a long process but successful. Now six months cancer-free, Joan is working on the long road to healing, with the help of Wellspring and its programs.

Joan attends the Relaxation and Visualization program, along with Nourish and Sound Bath Meditations. She also enjoys time spent in the Westerkirk House library, where you will often find her relaxing with a good book. She says, “Wellspring is very therapeutic for my recovery. I’m taking advantage of everything so I can heal properly.”

Finding Wellspring felt like fate to Joan. After a recommendation from her physio, Joan happened to be driving past Westerkirk House one day and stopped in for a tour. Since walking through Wellspring’s welcoming doors, Joan has not only attended programs, but has participated in a Wellspring photoshoot and joined Well Dressed for Spring as a runway model. “It was meant to be—all the stars are aligning,” says Joan.

Joan feels blessed with the support she received from her children, Nneka and Dakarai, and friends and family during her cancer journey. She remembers advice that they gave her along the way. One close friend said, “Joan, you can beat this, but you have to stay resilient.”

During her most vulnerable moments, Joan reminds herself of this quote. She remembers her resilience and determination that helped her to get to where she is today.

“It helps me to stay strong,” she says.

Joan is walking in this Wellspring’s 2024 Well Dressed for Spring event. Donate to Joan’s Fundraiser

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