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'The Amazing Race Canada' winner on bringing hope to others, 9 years after devastating diagnosis


Catherine Wreford Ledlow is no shrinking violet.

She studied with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, performed at the Stratford Festival, danced on the stage in Toronto, achieved her life’s dream of being on Broadway and tasted success in Los Angeles.

She and best friend Craig Ramsay even won Amazing Race Canada, beating out nine other teams in a gruelling competition. Not too shabby! A triple threat artist: dance, vocals, acting. Catherine’s motto, she will tell you, is, “I can do that.”

Catherine and Craig were crowned champions of 'The Amazing Race Canada' in 2022. Their participation in the show came almost a decade after Catherine was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and had two to six years to live (Photo: CTV The Amazing Race Canada)

In an interview with CTV’s W5, Catherine said, “I had all this confidence and I just wanted to get better and better.” She did.

Catherine’s mom, Diane Wreford, a former radio personality, describes her daughter as having “so much energy, we had to make sure there were places to channel it.”

The two women are very close, closer now that 42-year-old Catherine’s energy is being channeled towards the fight of her life. More than nine years ago, she was diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma, a rare malignant brain tumour, and she was given two to six years to live. She’s outlived the prognosis.

As Diane told us, “Catherine is one of those people you go to cheer up, and she ends up cheering you up. She’s very positive.”

Diane is embracing her daughter’s positivity, but knows time is precious, which is why the extended family is spending time together, living just a few blocks apart in Winnipeg.

It’s given Catherine’s two children, Elliot, 12 and Quinn, 9, a chance to bond with their grandparents, and Diane, a chance to perpetuate her daughter’s legacy.

“Every day I will tell them how silly she was, or she used to do that.”

It’s those stories Catherine wants her mother to share with her kids, because the children know, “my time is limited and that I’m doing my best to stay here as long as I can. “

Catherine is also paying it forward by bringing hope to others. “If I’m not inspirational, then I’ve lost my way. I want people to see that things are possible, even with a terminal diagnosis.”

Catherine Wreford Ledlow speaks with CTV W5's Sandie Rinaldo

No one looking at Catherine today will believe she’s fighting a fatal disease.

She says, “That’s part of the trouble with it. It’s an invisible disease. And so I have to talk about it. Not so people go, 'oh poor Catherine,' but so people go, 'oh wow, she has brain cancer, but she can still do this and this and this and this.'”

Doctors cannot explain why Catherine has survived this long, but if a passion for life, pushing the limits, and pursuing new experiences is the answer, it will be a mother’s gift to her children when time moves on without her and memories start to fade.

Catherine and Craig dancing. They first met at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School over two decades ago (W5) Top Stories

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