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Corner Brook’s Maike van Niekerk named one of Canada’s 100 most powerful women

Maike van Niekerk has been named by the Women’s Executive Network as one of Canada’s most powerful women.
Maike van Niekerk has been named by the Women’s Executive Network as one of Canada’s most powerful women.

Maike van Niekerk’s ongoing work to honour her mother’s legacy has landed her another accolade.

The 2013 graduate of Corner Brook Regional High School, who was named a Rhodes scholar last year, has been named one of Canada’s most powerful women in a Top 100 list announced Thursday by the Women’s Executive Network.

The young women who were named to the list in a number of categories were honoured at a gala in Toronto. Van Niekerk was recognized under the entrepreneurship category.

Van Niekerk, a recent graduate of Dalhousie University’s nursing program, is the chief executive officer of Katrin’s Karepackage. The non-profit charitable program in memory of her mother, who died from breast cancer when van Niekerk was 15, has raised more than $110,000 to help offset treatment-related travel costs for cancer patients living in rural Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.

In 2014, van Niekerk biked 1,100 kilometres across Newfoundland and, in 2015, she ran seven marathons in seven days to raise awareness and funding for Katrin’s Karepackage.

The newest fundraising initiative is a book called “Faces Facing Cancer.” The 110-page book profiles the stories of more than 50 Nova Scotians and their experiences with cancer.

The book features cancer patients, cancer survivors, people who have lost a loved one to cancer, cancer advocates, health care professionals and cancer researchers.

The book will be released Dec. 1 and van Niekerk said plans are in the works to make a second book focused on the cancer stories of people from Newfoundland and Labrador.

In 2015, van Niekerk was named to the Top 20 Under 20 list by Plan Canada.

Winner of the Governor-General’s Silver Medal for achieving the highest academic standing among graduates of baccalaureate programs at Dalhousie University earlier this year, she will be studying a PhD in psychiatry at the University of Oxford under the Rhodes scholarship program.

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