How Sam Kwong is helping us own cancer

Sam Kwong recently joined his first marathon as a fundraiser, in which he decided to support the Alberta Cancer Foundation. To say his efforts were successful would be an understatement. Sam ran over 21 kilometres and raised over $5,000 for Albertans facing cancer. With the Calgary Cancer Centre being an initiative he is passionate about, we wanted to learn more about his ‘why’.

 

Tell us about yourself…

My name is Sam Kwong and I am married to my wife, Amanda Keay, who I met in Calgary 14 years ago. We have an eighteen-month-old daughter named Chloe and she is expecting a baby brother this October 2022!

I have worked multiple jobs starting from the age of 14 years old. During the time frame between 14 to 18 years old, I worked as a day camp volunteer, newspaper sales personnel, cashier, sales representative, landscaper, lot attendant, janitor, dishwasher, host, line cook, and served at multiple restaurants. I place strong emphasis on character building and work ethic because I find them as core fundamentals to a successful career and life.

I graduated from a degree in business with a major in accounting and pursued my CPA, CMA designation after graduating. I now currently own and operate two small and humble businesses: one in educational development (www.evolutionlearning.org) and the other in recruiting for high growth startup companies in Silicon Valley (www.clearmatchtalent.com). My favorite job of all though, is my journey in learning to become the best father and husband that I can be for my family. My commitment is to be there for them and spend as much time as possible with them. Monday to Sunday, if you come knocking on our door we are very likely home together, so feel free to come in for some food and beverages!

International travel is by far the most impactful investment that I have made in my lifetime. I am blessed to have studied, worked and lived abroad on many occasions. Together these experiences have convinced me that multiculturalism and the power of diversity are pertinent attributes to creating a more harmonious and prosperous world. To date, I have traveled to 23 or more countries, and my ultimate goal is to expand my perception of the world by seeking to understand others from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Curiosity flows through my DNA and is a big contributor to why I prefer having deep and real conversations about any open topic, with anyone, anywhere in the world. The latest book I have been reading is Survival of the Nicest: How Altruism Made Us Human and Why It Pays to Get Along by Stefan Klein.

Time flies, so I constantly educate and dedicate myself to areas and situations in which I am able to make a difference. When the intentions are good, we ought to just let it flow naturally. No matter the industry or career, I truly believe in aiming to be the best at everything you do, in order to reap what you sow.

 

What inspired you to fundraise for the Alberta Cancer Foundation? What do you hope to see accomplished with this funds?

I finally stopped making excuses and built up the courage to run my first half marathon on May 29, 2022. I had decided to raise funds by contributing to a cause that our network and communities may all have unfortunately faced – cancer.

The beginning of 2022 started off a little rocky. I had lost my Aunt Ping to cancer rather abruptly. Ping was awesome and lived a simple life. Her three favorite things were Dim Sum, Newspaper, and Chinese New Year Red Pockets (I mean who doesn’t like good fortune and some extra cash to spend?). I miss her and her authenticity to truly be herself throughout all these years.

As a result, I personally dedicated my first run to Aunt Ping and the funds raised to help support the efforts of Alberta Cancer Foundation. In less than 3 weeks we had raised over $5000! Many who know me understand that my friends are considered my family and vice versa. The success and recognition goes to my network of friends and family who have been there since day 1. I am humbled and blessed to have a strong support group with such big hearts. They are the real champions!

I hope the funds help in accomplishing two things.

1. Dramatically increasing the survival rate of cancer patients to 100%.

2. At a minimum, mitigate patient suffering through accelerated technologies and innovative progress against cancer.

 

Have you or a loved one been impacted by cancer? What did this journey look like?

Yes. Earlier this year, I had lost my Aunt Ping and she was taken from us rather quickly. Unfortunately, Ping’s journey through cancer was short lived. We had a little less than 1 month with her since she was diagnosed and in the blink of an eye she was gone.

Similar to many of us, we hear of many cases of close family members and friends battling this chronic disease. As a community we have made significant advancements to cancer treatment however until cancer is put to rest we still have work to do. These tragic life experiences teach you many many lessons. One of the main lessons I learned is to smile often, and cherish the people and relationships you have around you. Dance through the ups and downs of life’s experiences with them one day at a time, and remember to have fun while doing so.

 

What does the new Calgary Cancer Centre mean to you?

To me, the new Calgary Cancer Centre means that we have a significantly larger force of hardworking passionate people that are making their best attempt to put cancer to rest for good. Cancer is a topic that can be dark and morbid, but I firmly believe that we must continue to fight and the Calgary Cancer Centre is a dedicated space to do just that. I look forward to the day when we can rid this disease away once and for all!

 

At the Calgary Cancer Centre, we’re bringing together researchers, medical teams, prevention experts, patients and families in ways never before possible. Help make an impact for patients like Ashley, and donate to the OWN.CANCER campaign today.