Taking part in Scotiabank Charity Challenge to thank a “health care hero”
Jennifer Sweeney was only eight weeks removed from the surgical bed when she took part in the Scotiabank Half-Marathon & 5K Charity Challenge on June 24, but she had a compelling motivation to be there. She was raising funds for a man she calls a “health care hero,” Dr. Amin Javer, Director of St. Paul’s Hospital Sinus Centre.
Prior to being treated by Dr. Javer, Sweeney had suffered through two frustrating years of debilitating and chronic facial pain.
“I had hypersensitivity in my mouth to everything. When it started, I was just sensitive to some things that were mildly acidic, but as the condition progressed, it affected everything I put in my mouth. Brushing my teeth, eating – everything was just painful all the time,” explains Sweeney.
After hospitalization for extreme weight loss, and no answers for the cause of her pain, she sought out Dr. Javer for a second opinion on a dental CT scan.
“When he looked at the CT scan, he said ‘Do you see this little circle here? That’s a cyst and it’s probably infected.’ And then he looked at me and said, ‘You have probably been in a lot of pain’ and I just started to cry because it was the first time somebody acknowledged my pain and could see something that could be causing the pain.”
Dr. Javer removed the infection using a minimally invasive procedure that spares patients facial scarring, pain and long recovery times associated with alternative treatments. To show her gratitude, Sweeney decided to participate in the Scotiabank Half-Marathon & 5K Charity Challenge to raise funds for St. Paul’s Sinus Centre, which has become the most advanced and comprehensive program of its kind in Western Canada under Dr. Javer’s leadership.
Despite signing up for the Charity Challenge just 12 days before the event, Sweeney managed to raise $2550 for St. Paul’s Sinus Centre to help other sinus patients benefit from the quality care and consideration she experienced.