In loving memory of Adrianna “Adri” McDonald (nee O’Regan), Obesity Canada extends our deepest gratitude for the profound contributions she made to Obesity Canada and her tireless advocacy for the field of obesity. Her dedication to training and education, research, and advocacy has left an indelible mark, and we are forever thankful for her passion and unwavering commitment.
As a vital member of Obesity Canada, Adrianna played a pivotal role in advancing the organization’s mission and advocating globally for greater awareness and understanding of obesity-related issues. Her relentless efforts in creating learning opportunities and driving positive change have had a profound impact on numerous lives.
Adrianna’s journey with Obesity Canada began through her active involvement with the Public Engagement Committee, a crucial platform promoting awareness, understanding of obesity, and ensuring the patient voice was deeply rooted in research, education, and advocacy. Adrianna selflessly dedicated her knowledge, expertise and time in supporting healthcare professionals in learning evidence-based treatments and educating on the impacts of weight bias and stigma. She dedicated herself to various initiatives, consistently working towards achieving the organization’s objectives.
Not only did Adrianna selflessly contribute to the cause, but she also generously shared her personal story through the Weight of Living series, providing inspiration and support to countless others facing similar challenges. Adri also shared her experiences on determinants of success in her blog here.
Her advocacy extended beyond her own experiences, as she fervently fought for better healthcare experiences for all individuals who had encountered weight bias, stigma, and discrimination. Adrianna was effective in providing a strong voice for those living with obesity by sharing and educating through media platforms such as her work with Global News Edmonton on COVID-19 vaccination priorities and the confusion on BMI in fertility treatments.
Many may have come across Adrianna’s photo over the years, as she played an integral role in the creation of the Obesity Canada Image Bank. Her endeavors ensured that positive imagery and representation were available for people living with obesity, challenging stereotypes and misconceptions.
Adrianna’s dedication encompassed not just advocacy but also a commitment to training and educating healthcare professionals. She fearlessly shared her experiences, both positive and challenging, participating in in-person and online training for healthcare professionals. Adrianna made impactful presentations to medical schools and was actively involved in the ASCEND training program, among other areas where she contributed her expertise. Adri regularly provided guest lectures to undergraduate and graduate students at universities across Canada, helping to reduce weight bias and increase understanding of obesity with the next generation of health professionals.
Adrianna’s legacy lives on through the positive changes she brought about and the lives she touched. Her passion, dedication, and advocacy continue to inspire us all. We are profoundly grateful for her unwavering commitment to making the world a better place for those affected by obesity. In her honor, we pledge to carry on the important work she started, ensuring her impact endures for generations to come.
Adri will be dearly missed by the entire Obesity Canada team.