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Celebrating Our Role Models: Vesna Zic-Cote

Vesna Zic-Cote at the 2018 Forget for a Moment Makeover, Photo by Anna Epp Photography
Vesna at the Forget for a Moment Makeover, Photo by Anna Epp
With our Paris Nights Fashion Show & Sale quickly approaching this weekend, I would like to celebrate our models. They are everyday ordinary women living extraordinary lives. They live their lives with purpose and it is my pleasure and honour to introduce them to you in a Model Mini-Blog Series.
Vesna was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and went through the standard treatment of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. In 2017, she learned that the cancer had returned and spread to other parts of her body which has required her to return to active treatment for metastatic breast cancer (MBC).
Since then, Vesna has become a vocal advocate for the MBC community. She is one of the founding members of O.M.G., the Ottawa Monthly Gathering of young(ish) women diagnosed with breast cancer. 
She is also a member of the Rethink Breast Cancer's MBC Advisory Board and has become an inspiring and courageous spokesperson to bring about awareness, education, and change in our healthcare system for women living with MBC.
Recently, Vesna was the guest speaker for Rethink's MBC Advocacy Day at Queen's Park where she had the opportunity to provide the patient perspective to our Ontario Members of Parliament and their staff. 
Vesna at Queen's Park
Vesna at Queen's Park with fellow Metavivors
On a lighter note,  Vesna and a few of her friends from the OMG network spent a fun day at the Marilyn Denis Show which featured an audience full of survivors and thrivers.
Vesna has captained 3 teams for the annual CIBC Run for the Cure. Together they have raised $38,031 to date for cancer research, support, and programs.
Team Captain at Run for the Cure
Team Captain at Run for the Cure
Vesna is also part of a collaborative photo story project with The Bear and the Butterfly Photography. The "M.B.C. - Most Beautiful Collaboration" project captures the lived experience of MBC through photos, posts, insights, and observations.
Vesna finds joy in photography and gardening, as well as actively participating within the communities of her children's activities. Her most cherished roles are that of wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.
Vesna gives a supportive hug to a fellow breast cancer thriver, Photo by Anna Epp Photography
Vesna gives a supportive hug to a fellow breast cancer thriver, Photo by Anna Epp
It is my immense privilege to name my latest design, the circle cardigan, in Vesna's honour. Five percent of annual sales of the Vesna cardigan will be donated to Rethink's MBC support, education, and advocacy work.
Thank you, Vesna, for all that you do. You are making a difference in the lives of women living with breast cancer now and in the future.
We had an in-studio photoshoot with Vesna last week. She will be featured on my new website's shopping page showcasing the new fall/winter designs including her namesake, the Vesna cardi. Please keep an eye out for my new online storefront coming soon.
Vesna at the COKANNA in-studio photoshoot
Vesna in the Vesna cardi at our in-studio photoshoot
And last but not least, come out to our Paris Nights Fashion Show & Sale this Saturday, November 10th, from 6:30 to 9:00 pm and see Vesna strut her stuff on the runway. Click on the link below to buy your tickets:
Heidi and I look forward to seeing you there.
Colleen Kanna and Heidi McLaren at La Maison du Kouign-Amman
Colleen Kanna is a recovered Chartered Accountant and breast cancer champion turned fashion designer. She is the creator of COKANNA Designs, a line of stylish bamboo Canadian-made clothing for women over 40. Five percent of sales of the Vesna cardigan will be donated to Rethink's Metastatic Breast Cancer support, education and advocacy work.

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