Financial consultant, ultramarathoner and skin cancer fundraiser Rosemary Westie knows what it’s like to stay the course, dig deep inside yourself for strength and push through pain.
Whether she’s running across the beaches of Normandy or in the Boston Marathon, advising clients on how to best manage their money, or supporting families devastated by cancer, Westie is inspired to help others live better lives.
Born and raised in Powell River, B.C., Westie has called North Vancouver home since 1987, when she joined Great Pacific Management as an investment advisor. “I always had a passion for spending time with people, and I was really motivated by economics,” Westie explains.
Westie’s first client is still with her, along with the family’s adult children and grandchildren. “I have that kind of relationship with every client,” notes Westie, who is now a financial consultant with Elevate Wealth in North Vancouver.
“I’m so lucky, I love the investment business, and I love my clients. Together we put plans in place to help them and their families achieve financial success”.
Another passion, is helping patients and families dealing with skin cancer. Westie was running the North Vancouver trails in 2003 when she was inspired to start raising money for melanoma research, treatments and care. Her sister Kathleen Barnard, who was in her 40s at the time, had just been diagnosed with metastasized Stage 4 melanoma.
“I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t sleep,” Westie recalls. “The fear was relentless . . .
“I can’t fix cancer. But I’m lucky to be healthy, I can run, and I can raise money.”
From her fervent wish to help, and Barnard’s tireless advocacy, the sisters created the Save Your Skin Foundation, helping melanoma patients and families across Canada, and bringing together oncologists from around the world to discuss cutting edge treatments and research, and finding ways to get equal, timely access to those treatments for all patients.
“We help patients navigate from start to finish. From the minute that diagnosis comes in, we take patients under our wing and help with everything: understanding the health care system, getting them to their appointments, sending along all the things they’ll need while in hospital, and ensuring their families can be by their side. There is no patient request too big or too small. We’ve got their back.”
Westie proudly wears her Save Your Skin Foundation jersey when she’s running, to let people know about the Foundation and the difference it’s making in people’s lives.
At age 62, “I am really excited by the next chapter of my life,” she says.
When a family is in absolute fear about a melanoma diagnosis, we are there to provide support and most importantly hope. We will do whatever it takes to help.”