Episode 28: She vowed to take care of herself, be her own power + fight disease

Guest: Rishma Velji-Johnston

Rish takes time to open up and share aspects of her entire journey which she has not openly shared to others outside her social circle and made some poignant connections with grief literacy. Rish converses about the multi roles that she played being a daughter, caregiver to both her parents while studying in university and now wife and mother. She describes how tragedy she witnessed as very young adult has shaped her outlook on life and how she wants to make a difference for others to persevere regardless of what life might throw at an individual. She recounts her personal grief journey and how it took years to overcome and therefore ultimately laid the foundation for her own personal breast cancer journey at the young age of 37. She speaks about what it is like to grieve, having to get her life back on track at a young age, dealing with ongoing deaths, and her own personal health journey. Her key message to the listeners is that: everyone has their own personal issues which they undergo, but you don’t have to go through it alone. She encourages people to reach out to someone if they are going through something and she openly invites anyone who wants to chat and connect to do so.


Guest Bio: As a corporate professional with a diverse background in Procurement, Data Center Management and currently working as a Client Technology professional for RBC, Capital Markets, like many working mothers, Rish enjoys the balancing act of work, family, raising her five-year-old son and spending time with friends and family. What remains consistent in Rish’s life are lessons and experiences that have grounded her. As a cancer survivor herself, her commitment to making a difference in the cancer community and helping to empower women of all ages to be an advocate for their own health and to be cognizant of their bodies can make an important and positive impact.


She is a proud mama to three children, Brittany, Gordie, Aris, and her puppy Hugo. She is a sister to an amazing brother, Rizwan who has been her rock and she is grateful to her husband, Michael who has provided unwavering support throughout her own journey.


Passionate about:

Heart & Stroke Foundation www.heartandstroke.ca

Canadian Cancer Society www.cancer.ca

North York General Hospital – Breast Cancer Care https://www.nygh.on.ca/areas-care/cancer-care/breast-cancer-care