Wendy Mesley was born January 8, 1957 and is one of the most well-known and respected Canadian broadcast journalists.
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Wendy attended Ryerson University, located in downtown Toronto, Ontario. After graduating, the future renowned journalist started working immediately. She has been active in the news industry since 1976 with radio work. Starting in 1979, she began working on television. That year would mark the first step in Wendy’s decorated career.
Wendy is widely recognized for her tough approach to conducting interviews. She has hosted a number of shows and has reported for several more but is best known for CBC's flagship evening news program, The National. She also currently co-hosts a show named Test the Nation with Brent Bambury.
However, her career did not take off until she started working with CTV’s station in Montreal, CFCF. Later, she moved to Ottawa and hosted CBC Television's consumer investigation series named Marketplace.
Wendy’s career hit a milestone when she was employed by an evening news program called The National, where she started out as a backup anchor. The investigative news magazine CBC News- Disclosure also was lucky to have Wendy work for them. She also worked as a parliamentary correspondent for The National news magazine.
In 1994, she moved back to Toronto where she created and hosted the media and technology series named Undercurrents, examining how media and marketing are changing things around the world.
Awards and Recognition
Even at the golden age of 60 years old, the Canadian broadcast journalist continues to stun the audience with her reporting skills.
Wendy is the first woman that was assigned to cover a story on the Prime Minister. Her excellent and hard work led to her 3 Gemini Awards for her work on Undercurrents. She also got a Gold Medal for Best Magazine Format at the New York Festival's International Television Awards and the 2006 John Drainie Award. The Drainie award is given to an individual who has made a significant contribution to broadcasting in Canada. It is prestigious award to obtain because it is not given annually like most awards.
In 1989, Wendy married Peter Mansbridge, a CBC news anchor but their marriage did not last and ended after just three years in 1992. They divorced with dignity and made an announcement on the air. In 1998, she married Liam McQuade, a marketing executive. They have one daughter together, named Kate Rae McQuade.
Battle With Breast Cancer
Wendy Mesley announced in 2005 that she was suffering from breast cancer. She took time off of work as she underwent chemotherapy. Mesley was shocked when she came to the realization that she was a cancer patient. At first, she considered not announcing the news of her condition but decided that she would go public and let her viewers and fans know. Due to the chemotherapy, her hair began to fall out, and that was the time when she announced it to the public because she could no longer hide it. The treatment also included two lumpectomies.
After treatment took away a big part of the risk, she couldn’t help but be consumed with curiosity, stating, "Why me? And why are so many other people getting this horrible disease? It was, of course, at first a big shock,” she said. “Then, the biggest shock was I had to deal with it and to find out how common such a club it really was. That was the big tragedy. Mine and everyone else’s.”
During an interview over the phone, she said “I have been a health nut all my adult life, watching what I eat and exercising/ Sure, I smoked in the wild days of my youth, but I haven’t smoked for 15 years and they always told us that was a factor in lung cancer. They were not telling us back then it was related to breast cancer. And there is no history of it in my family.” During the same interview, the fearless woman that $60,000 was spent on her treatment and said that she was grateful that she had that privilege and resources that she had gathered from her career in broadcasting.
Mesley is an optimist and has a strong desire for life. She thought that her husband would feel ashamed regarding the news that she was suffering from breast cancer, a disease that may also might have led her to death. However, Liam McQuade, proved to be a very supportive partner. He had a positive attitude that his wife would get well soon. He never let her down and also played a crucial role in her being positive towards life. He was so supportive that he decided to be bald when his wife was going through the same phase due to treatment. He wanted to show her that he would do anything to show his support for her. However, Mesley told him that she doesn’t want an ugly husband and he dropped his idea at her request.
They both told their daughter, Kate Rae about the disease that Wendy was suffering from and she was also very supportive of her mother.
Recovery From Cancer
Wendy returned back to her work with the same charm in 2006 but was under the care of an oncologist and has been taking a cancer drug for her safety. She also aired her documentary “Chasing the Cancer Answer” in which she told a story about she suffered from this deadly disease and how she came out of it on top.
She has always been a fighter and by coming out a winner against cancer, she proved to the world her strength and resolve. “After I was diagnosed, I quickly moved from the “why me?” to the, “why not me?” phase after a senior executive at Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation told me that cancer had just surpassed heart disease as the number one killer. He said statistics now reveal that almost one in two people born today will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime”. She continues to be a champion to give others hope.
Last Modified: Apr 8, 2020