Brain cancer, COVID-19 didn't stop 'Amazing Race Canada' champs Catherine Wreford Ledlow and Craig Ramsay

·5 min read
Catherine Wreford Ledlow and Craig Ramsay winning "The Amazing Race Canada" Season 8 on CTV (Mark O'Neill) (Mark O'Neill)

Broadway stars Catherine Wreford Ledlow and Craig Ramsay won CTV's The Amazing Race Canada Season 8, even after battling COVID-19 on the show, and they’re “relieved” that they can finally talk about the great news.

“[I had been] playing a role that we did not win because that's kind of the mindset that Catherine told me to get into,” Ramsay told Yahoo Canada. “It really helped to dodge the questions but now we don't have to dodge anything.”

“I was in shock,” Ledlow added. “I think I was confused, I was like, ‘this isn't real, this is unreal.’”

Ledlow also enjoyed being able to watch The Amazing Race Canada with her family, particularly her two children.

“It was really fun…watching them watching me on the TV, so it was really great for me to see their reactions and they were like, ‘what happened?’ I'm like, ‘you have to watch,’” Ledlow said. “My son is 12, my daughter's nine, so they're in that excited mode all the time, so it was really fun for me to watch them.”

In 2013, Ledlow was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and was told she had two to six years to live. After surgery and years of treatment, she has now passed the six-year mark. But it was the severity of her illness that raised some concerns from Ramsay about Ledlow’s kids watching the show.

“I had concerns, actually, with them watching because Catherine and I had these conversations where I was like, ‘Do they understand the severity of your situation, of your medical diagnosis?’” Ramsay said.

I said yeah, they do, they understand that this is what's going to kill me, they understand that they're going to lose their mother to this,...we've done a lot of work, but at the same time, they can see how much joy I get out of what I'm doing and the people that I surround myself with.Catherine Wreford Ledlow, Amazing Race Canada winner

“My son takes musical theatre class with me,...we've performed together, we just love each other and kiss each other all the time.”

COVID-19 almost took the winners out of the race

One of the biggest obstacles throughout the season wasn’t even part of the race, but the continued spread COVID-19, which saw Catherine Wreford Ledlow and Craig Ramsay (as well as two other teams) briefly leave the competition, with an opportunity to win their spot back two episodes later.

“We certainly didn't know what was going to happen next, but we did come off such a high of winning leg three that we felt satisfied,” Ramsay said. “A goal of ours for the race was just, simply, to travel and experience this adventure together, and we did that.”

“However, the producers found a way to have an opportunity for some teams to come back and we are beyond grateful that the universe aligned that, because Catherine and I's journey on the race was not ready to end.”

Looking back at their time on the race, the pair highlight how great it was to be able to really see all of Canada’s beauty, across the country.

“Everything across Canada that the race presented to us is worthy of going back and revisiting, and taking our family,” Ramsay said. “We're married to Americans and they were in awe watching this with us.”

“The mountains to the beautiful seas, it was just breathtaking,” Ledlow added.

Catherine Wreford Ledlow and Craig Ramsay winning
Catherine Wreford Ledlow and Craig Ramsay winning "The Amazing Race Canada" Season 8 on CTV (Mark O'Neill)

'I want people to explore the world'

While The Amazing Race is constantly full of unique challenges, Catherine Wreford Ledlow and Craig Ramsay identified that their personal relationship with each other helped them ultimately get to the end of the race.

“We really complement each other really, really well,...we argue, we don't fight,” Ledlow said. “In the finale we competed against three teams of siblings, so them being siblings is great, but you don't tell your sibling everything, and we don't have any secrets at all.”

“We certainly respect each other to the max…and I think that ultimately that 25 years of friendship and trust got us to the win,” Ramsay said.

For anyone watching the show, the winning team has some messages of inspiration for any viewers of the race.

I want people to explore the world with their friends, with their family, and just because you have a terminal illness or…a diagnosis does not define you,” Ledlow said. “I want people to push past that and realize that they still have a life, they still have a world that they can explore.Catherine Wreford Ledlow, Amazing Race Canada winner

“As someone that can identify in the LGBTQ community, I will say that Catherine is a lifesaver and your chosen family is just as important, if not more important, in some cases, than you're given family,” Ramsay said. “That kind of support is so necessary for so many people out there, and it's a blessing that I have an opportunity to be there to support her during this difficult time, her medical situation.”

As winners of The Amazing Race Canada, Ledlow and Ramsay won two first-ever Chevrolet Silverado ZR2’s, a once-in-a-lifetime trip around the world courtesy of GURU Organic Energy, a $250,000 cash prize.

Canadians can catch up on the full season at CTV.ca and the CTV app, and it will be available to stream on Crave as of Friday, Sept. 23.