No matter your political leanings, this isn’t news that you would wish on your political enemy. Councillor Mark MacKinnon of Ward 6 has announced that his wife Karen McLarney has been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, and though he anticipates no immediate impact to his council duties, he is asking for help to cover expenses as his wife undergoes treatment.
In a statement posted on Twitter, MacKinnon said that his wife received the diagnosis late last year. According to a friend, the cancer wasn’t discovered until it had already spread to McLarney’s spine and pelvic bone, and though her prognosis is hopeful, she’s struggling to keep up enough energy to carry out the most basic daily tasks.
“The disease has been incredible stressful for Karen and our family, and Karen is doing her base to remain positive and keep hopeful during her treatment,” MacKinnon said.
“Currently, this diagnosis is not greatly impacting my City of Guelph councillor duties – though I may need to scale back on some initiatives due to time and capacity,” MacKinnon said.
MacKinnon was first elected to city council in 2014, and in addition to his ward responsibilities, he’s also the chair of the Corporate Services committee. MacKinnon is a real estate and mortgage broker, and was, until recently, the co-owner of The Boardroom board game cafe in Downtown Guelph.
“I have been keeping my council colleagues and the City’s executive team up to date, and they have assured me that I have their full support should I need to take a short breather from the council horseshoe,” MacKinnon added. “Thank you all for your understanding.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with the additional expenses. McLarney is a registered nurse who had just started a new job before her diagnosis so she doesn’t qualify for long-term benefits. You can find the fundraiser by following this link.
Guelph Politico extends its warm thoughts and well wishes to Councillor MacKinnon and his family at this difficult time.