How Randy Thompson owns cancer

Randy Thompson has been working as a Social Worker for over 30 years. Although his professional experience helped him navigate through his cancer journey, it was the consistent support from his family and loved ones that gave him the strength to persevere.

Here, he shares his cancer journey and what OWN.CANCER means to him.

I was always healthy throughout my lifetime, until my cancer diagnosis at 54 years old. I am a sports fanatic and enjoy playing, which has been good for my physical and mental health. I also have a bit of a sense of humour, which has also helped me deal with the “dark days” of treatment and recovery.

I’ve learned the importance of balance throughout my journey.

How did your cancer journey begin? Where were you treated?

For approximately one month, I felt that something wasn’t right. I completed a FIT test as per my GP, and sure enough, it failed. I was then scheduled for a colonoscopy which confirmed I had cancer. My initial diagnosis was on March 25th, 2020, and then confirmed stage 4 on March 27th, as the disease metastasized with liver and rectal cancer.

It is amazing how quickly life can change in a split second and how quickly the medical community responds to such a diagnosis. Also, due to the severity of my condition, I was immediately referred for treatment at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. After a battery of tests, further investigation and recommendations, we began aggressive chemotherapy with the hope that I would qualify for surgery in one year.

With an amazing medical team, huge support from family and friends and some difficult side effects to overcome, my body responded extremely well to treatment and at the ninth month period, I was scheduled for surgery to remove any existing tumours.

After a successful surgery in December 2020, I was essentially considered “cancer free”, which was nothing short of a miracle, despite having to manage with an ileostomy for a few months. This was a small price to pay knowing the surgeon could reverse it when it was safe to do so, which was reversed approx. 7 months later.

I lived cancer free from that day up until a scheduled CT scan in 2022, where my oncologist noticed a “spot” on my lung that hadn’t been there before. While quite small in nature, was confirmed as cancerous and I was immediately referred to a thoracic surgeon for a consult and plan. We agreed that surgery would be the most assured path of treatment and I had a successful resection surgery in June 2022. Unfortunately, there was a post-op complication of a pneumothorax, which landed me back in the hospital for 14 days in recovery.

Having recovered from that, I am now cancer-free and resuming regular bloodwork and scans at Tom Baker. – Randy Thompson


How are you today?

I feel blessed being cancer free and continue to recover from my most recent medical procedures. I continue to OWN.CANCER with the confidence in my medical support team and support network, and know that we will overcome any obstacles that come our way!


What were some challenges you faced in your journey, and what advice do you have for others who may face the same challenges?

There are many challenges that cancer patients face throughout their journey, beginning with the emotional impact of hearing “you have cancer”. In treatment, you will face a number of side effects that can zap your energy, bring on other sicknesses and weigh on you mentally. It was important for me to remember that cancer treatment is a journey, that it’s a marathon not a race.

It is important to open yourself up to help from others and focus on the end-goal. There will be good and bad days and know that that’s ok. It was important to be honest with how you are feeling and to share that with others. Everyone’s journey is different. Listen to your body, ask questions and trust in the process. Always keep hope alive!

What does the new Calgary Cancer Centre mean to you? How do you OWN.CANCER?

As the province’s leading health care facility, the new Calgary Cancer Centre will mean a lot to cancer patients and their families, as a place of hope and healing. With advancements in clinical trials, innovation and research, they are finding new ways to detect cancer earlier, which will result in better outcomes for cancer patients.

This Centre is dependent on funding through various means and one of the ways I OWN.CANCER is through sharing my journey through social media and dedicating time through volunteering with the Alberta Cancer Foundation and the OWN.CANCER campaign. I was extremely proud to be a part of the OWN.CANCER commercial, which was integral to the Centre’s key fundraising campaign and will continue to support the campaign and others in their cancer journey, throughout my lifetime.

Let’s all OWN.CANCER and not let this disease define us. There is great strength in “hope”, even in the most dire of circumstances. The new Calgary Cancer Centre will be that hope! – Randy Thompson


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 Sarah, and donate to the OWN.CANCER campaign today.

Brandi Perron and Her Cancer Journey

It was a day like any other when Brandi found a lump that would change her life forever. “I swear it wasn’t there in the morning. I was getting in the shower, it was so noticeable I could see it in the mirror.” Without hesitation, Brandi contacted her doctor. They sent her in for scans, a mammogram, and an ultrasound. By the time Brandi left the examinations, she knew she had cancer. “I could tell by the look on their face,” she recalls.

On December 23, 2020, a time that was supposed to be joyous was rather stressful as Brandi Perron went in for a Biopsy. “It was right before Christmas. It was also the day of one of the biggest storms we have had in years. I told them that I didn’t know if I could make it. They said ‘just try your best, it doesn’t matter what time you get here. We’ll still do it.’”

A couple of weeks passed by over the holidays. Brandi then received the fateful call from her Doctor on January 4, 2021, and was told she had cancer. Brandi’s doctor set up a meeting with a surgeon at the Breast Health Clinic at the Foothills Hospital. Through this meeting she would be briefed on her diagnosis. Even though the mass was large, they felt they had caught it early. With this in mind, they asked Brandi how she would like to move forward.

“The crazy thing about getting diagnosed with cancer is they give all these choices and at the end they are like ‘what would you like to do’ and I remember thinking ‘I don’t know.’”

For about a week, Brandi stepped away to think over the options she was given with one of her closest friends by her side, a nurse at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre and someone who joined her for all of Brandi’s appointments. After discussing her options with her friend and doing her own extensive research, Brandi decided to go with a double mastectomy.

Still navigating the changes today, Brandi said, “No one can prepare you for what happens when you have your breasts removed.” After her double mastectomy, pathology showed cancer in the lymph nodes and Brandi was sent to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre to start chemo.

“My Oncologist is Doctor Webster… my experience with Doctor Webster was amazing. He allowed me a lot of say in my treatment and provided me with a lot of information. I was very into holistic medicine before I got cancer and he allowed me to have space to talk about some of those kinds of treatments as well.” Providing this space for conversation helped bring a sense of autonomy during a confusing and overwhelming time.

When her chemo treatments came to an end, Brandi then started radiation. “Radiation is also scary, but it’s a different kind of scary.” However, she was happily surprised by the treatment she received from two radiologists at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. “When I originally arrived [for her radiation appointment] and found out it would be two men who would be doing my radiation, I almost refused to go in. I almost felt ‘man, I’ve been through enough already and I don’t want two men doing my breast cancer radiation treatment. Those two guys turned out to be probably the best part of my experience. They were amazing and did everything to make me comfortable and then some.”

Chemotherapy can often be a challenging period for a cancer patient. Brandi recalls her experience with this treatment as strenuous. “I was supposed to have six courses of chemo, but I only had four. I had really bad headaches, jaw pains, and two times I had psychosis after my treatments. Which was really scary for my family, my kids especially.” Treatments can impact patients in different ways. The side effects of chemotherapy became too dangerous for Brandi, ultimately leading to the decision to stop chemo at four treatments.

Brandi’s radiation treatments occurred five days a week for five weeks. During this physically demanding treatment, Brandi’s holistic interests came in handy. She often used organic ointments to help soothe and heal her radiation burns.

In December of 2021, Brandi was given a No Evidence of Disease diagnosis. She recognizes, however, that because her cancer was estrogen positive, she will always be at high risk for reoccurrence and is now on preventative treatment, including medication to put her in a medical menopause. “In some ways this is harder than active treatment. When you’re done treatment, you’re just done. Everything just goes back to what it was except for you.”

Brandi still experiences symptoms from her treatments, such as pain in her bones, insomnia and headaches. The psychological impacts often outweigh the physical ones. “It’s just a constant worry that every ache and every pain is just the cancer coming back. But all the meds give you the exact same symptoms as what it would feel to have the cancer coming back. I stopped calling my doctor every week, which I am sure he is grateful for.” She chuckles.

When asked how she found support during this harrowing experience, Brandi opened up about the online community she had found. These groups provided space for her to open up about all aspects of her breast cancer journey, and she does the same for them.

“Those women online have saved my life repeatedly.”

A constant theme running through our conversation was the idea of support and the deep gratitude Brandi held for those who lent her a helping hand. “My family doctor called me every other week,” She explains. Her family doctor would even check on her children to see how they were coping with their mother’s diagnosis. “I appreciated this so much because I felt like I didn’t have the capacity to support my family.” The not for profit agency she worked at also provided her with time and support to navigate her diagnosis. Along with family, friends, the breast cancer Support clinic in Calgary and the community she found online, Brandi found herself in the midst of a solid support system.

The financial burden of cancer is something that is not talked about often. Brandi opened up about her experience with this saying, “The financial burden of cancer is crazy. I don’t think many people know about this, I certainly didn’t. I am just starting to catch up.” This experience is more common than most of us know. There is support out there, check out Alberta Cancer Foundation’s Patient Financial Assistance Program here.

Being a Calgarian and going through all of her cancer treatments at Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Brandi is excited to see what the new Calgary Cancer Centre brings. “The new Calgary Cancer Centre is probably going to be off the hook. I think it’s amazing. Tom Baker is so busy and there isn’t enough space. It’s the busiest place I’ve ever been.” Brandi also explains that she is grateful that the Calgary Cancer Centre not only will be there for those facing cancer but has also brought jobs and opportunities to our city. “I am excited that the Calgary Cancer Centre is going to be there for people.”

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 and donate to the OWN.CANCER campaign today.

How Lorne Miller owns cancer – Father’s Day Highlight

Lorne Miller, a born and raised Calgarian, Fire Fighter, loving husband, and father to two young children, was diagnosed with cancer in May of 2021. After experiencing some abdominal discomfort and swelling, Lorne was diagnosed with liposarcoma. A volleyball-sized tumour, along with some of his small intestines, was removed a month later. As a man in good health who enjoyed staying active, like hunting and fishing with his dog Maggie, this news came as a massive surprise to him.

As a father, this news was devastating to hear. “Having to tell your mother, wife, and daughter that you are sick, and there is nothing they can do about it, was the worst day. I’m the one person that is supposed to be invincible, and to have to tell them that you are not, was incredibly painful. That said, if someone had to take the statistical bullet with this disease, I’m glad it was me and not any of them. With our kids being so young, they don’t have a full understanding of what happened last year. So, unfortunately, the brunt of that fell onto Lindsay [Lorne’s Wife]. For us, the diagnosis really reinforced the vows we took on our wedding day to be there for each other and our family in whatever comes our way. News like this is always difficult for a family to process and as one of my Doctor’s said last year, ‘this is the hand you’ve been dealt, how you play it is up to you.'” – Lorne Miller

A cancer diagnosis often turns a person’s world upside down. For Lorne, he knew it would come with its challenges, especially as a parent. When asked if his perspective changed on what being a father meant to him, he said, “Absolutely. I learned that time is our most valuable commodity, so I have become extremely calculated on how I spend it. As a parent, all you ever want to do is protect your children, and when the ability to do that is threatened, you realize what it means to be a protector. As soon as we had our kids, my goal has been to work hard at providing a good example to them on how to be a good father, son, husband, friend, and how to give back to the community. It’s always been really important for me to leave this place better than how I found it. After my experience last year, I’ve realized that the opportunity to do that cannot be taken for granted and needs to be actioned right now. As parents, we need to take full advantage of the time we have with our kids because things can change in an instant. The reality is that none of us know what the future entails, so my goal is to leave a legacy for my kids so they will be proud of the person I was, and the things I did to give them a better life and make this community a better place to live.”

“As parents, we need to take full advantage of the time we have with our kids because things can change in an instant.”

Helping him on his journey to recovery, Lorne found support in his loved ones. “I am very fortunate to have a great support network of family, friends, coworkers, medical professionals, and even strangers. I’m a firm believer that, in situations like this, the right people will be in front of you at the right time. Once I accepted the reality of my situation and stopped resisting the unchangeable, I was able to open myself up to vulnerability and the help others were offering. It can be very difficult for a father to accept help in looking after his family, or himself, but I’m so glad I did. I wouldn’t be where I am today without doing that. Once I leaned into the support network that I had, I could really focus on the important things, and still be as present as possible for my family. In terms of tangible solutions that have helped me, I’ve really focused on regaining my physical and mental health to a productive state. I’ve worked hard at getting myself back in shape with physiotherapy, regular workouts, and a clean diet. I’ve explored naturopathic remedies to compliment the fantastic care I have received and continue to work diligently with my therapist to make myself more mentally resilient to past and future challenges. I’ve found that a well-balanced approach of taking mental and physical health seriously has allowed for a successful recovery, and ultimately, allowed me to resume a lot of my previous roles and responsibilities.”

Lorne recently celebrated one year of being cancer-free on the same day as his 39th birthday. A lot can change in 365 days. When we asked how he is doing today, he said, “All things considered; I’m doing absolutely incredible. This time last year, I would have given anything to be in this position today.” It comes without saying, Lorne radiates positivity into the lives of those around him and for us as well. He states, “I’m beyond grateful for the incredible support I have received during this process. Although challenging, this last year has been an incredible gift and second chance to make the most of my time here. I have, and will continue, to work hard at paying back all the love and support our family has received by being living proof of the good things that can happen with the power of faith, and community.”

Lorne expressed his gratitude for the care he received and knows that with the new Calgary Cancer Centre, those facing cancer in the future will have access to world-leading cancer care, research and education. 

Happy Fathers Day to all of the incredible Dad’s out there, like Lorne.

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 and donate to the OWN.CANCER campaign today.

How Chris Kucharski owns cancer

A campaign of this magnitude doesn’t happen without the support and dedication of our community. The OWN.CANCER campaign cabinet is made up of passionate Calgarians who are champions for improved cancer research, treatment and care in our province. Through their advocacy, donations and guidance, we’re closer to reaching our $250 million fundraising goal in support of the Calgary Cancer Centre. In this series, we’re sitting down with our cabinet members to learn what the OWN.CANCER campaign means to them and the impact it will have on Albertans facing cancer.

Chris Kucharski has had a thriving career as a telecommunications professional and executive, having retired as Shaw’s President – Consumer in 2018. Since then he has split his time in between startup investing in the tech space along with various philanthropic endeavours, including serving as Board Trustee for the Alberta Cancer Foundation since 2019. Staying active and healthy remains a personal priority, along with spending time with family, creative pursuits, and consulting work. Chris also holds degrees from the University of Alberta and Simon Fraser University.

What inspires you to OWN.CANCER?

Certainly nobody wants to hear the words that you have been diagnosed with cancer. Your world is rocked and the mental challenge can become nearly as big as the physical one. When I was diagnosed, my core motivation became about the ones I love – living longer to watch my kids become adults and go through life’s milestones, having new experiences, or just enjoying the simple moments of hanging out together. I’m not always successful at it, but I think I am happiest when I keep gratitude top of mind, and the most important things front and centre. So for me, it comes back to what the core mission of  the Alberta Cancer Foundation is all about – creating more moments for Albertans facing cancer, and the reality of how precious our time here really is.


For me, it comes back to what the core mission of  the Alberta Cancer Foundation is all about – creating more moments for Albertans facing cancer, and the reality of how precious our time here really is.

– Chris Kucharski


Why was it important to you to volunteer and contribute to this campaign?

I’m a born and raised Albertan, and have lived in Calgary for over a decade.  Making the effort to give back to the community that has been so good to me has become something that matters deeply – and especially so after having gone through my own cancer experience.  I can’t properly convey the gratitude I have for the incredible health care professionals that we rely on here in Calgary and I feel really fortunate to have been under their care at Foothills/Tom Baker. I live nearby the new cancer centre and every time I pass it, I feel so enthused about what this means for our city and community – it’s truly exciting to be a part of.

How do you believe this campaign and the Calgary Cancer Centre will impact Albertans facing cancer?

This really is a game changer for Calgary, and Alberta. When it opens in 2024, it will be the largest comprehensive cancer centre in Canada, and a major asset for Calgary and the province. Meaning not just a beautiful facility, but one that will gather the right people/talent with the right tools to drive research and transform cancer care and treatment. That includes precision care, where treatments can be planned and coordinated around each individuals physical, mental and social needs. Regrettably, we know that nearly everyone is affected by cancer in their lifetime, whether themselves or someone they love. Helping the new centre realize its potential to improve care and outcomes is therefore extremely motivating, and I’m certain that’s something all of us can rally behind.

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.

How Jim Button Owns Cancer


“A father of two, husband of one, brother of three, and friend to many.” This is how Jim Button describes himself. 

On Father’s Day, 2014, Jim and his family were on a rafting trip when he began to feel severe pain. A hospital visit revealed a case of appendicitis, but it also revealed a baseball-sized tumor on his kidney. Within hours, his appendix was removed, and his kidney three weeks later. But in 2016, cancer had metastasized in Jim’s lungs and his oncologist explained that he would be on treatment for the rest of his life – which they estimated would be about one to two years. 

“That was six years ago,” says Jim. “And the journey from here to there has been seriously up and down… I’ve had many times where I’ve been in near-death situations – many times where the family’s standing around the bed thinking [that] that was it.”

Over the last six years, Jim has been documenting his experience with cancer on his blog – Gather With Jim, a place where he shares some of the good, bad and ugly experiences of living with cancer. It’s now become a place where he has inspired countless others who are on their own cancer journey.

“I wanted to normalize conversations around the disease and death and dying,” he says. “People avert their eyes. It’s very hard for them to look at a sick person… I want to try to normalize that in order to allow people to feel, ‘Oh, okay, this happens.’ Even families have a hard time discussing and sharing these difficult conversations when instead they should all be on the same page working together.”

Through his blog, Jim has been able to meet other folks living with cancer. He often goes on walks with them where they converse about their shared experiences.

“I’ve been in many group therapy scenarios where you go in and everybody has cancer and they talk about all the things that cancer’s taken away from them and the futileness of it all. Once cancer owns you, then it’s a quick ride to nowhere,” he says. “Throughout the walk, I feel like my role is to give them back ownership of their journey.”

Jim explains that living with cancer can cause people to feel a loss of control. Based on his experiences, Jim advises them to manage what they can control and let go of the rest. He recalls how his wife, Tracey Button, experienced anticipatory grief and anxieties after Jim’s diagnosis. Concerns about the future regarding their children (Jack and Amanda), their finances, as well as her work. To address her concerns, Jim and Tracey took care of what they could – organizing their life insurance, wills, and estates – as well as practicing mindfulness to focus on the present moment.

“You can’t control everything,” Jim explains. “You’re not promised tomorrow, but you’ve got today – so make today the best you can with what you have.” 

 “I’ve never used the word ‘fighting’, I’ve never used the word ‘survivor’, never used ‘battle’ – because I’m living with cancer. I’d rather not have cancer but the cancer is here so I’m living with it and adapting to it. I very much believe that I am in control of owning cancer versus that cancer owns me.”

When the Centre opens in 2023, Calgary will be home to a world-class cancer hospital with a comprehensive approach that allows researchers, clinicians, patient-care specialists, and diagnosticians to work together in one place. Jim is all too familiar with the inconvenience of visiting a myriad of different medical practitioners across the city. “We’re bringing in researchers, medical teams, and patients altogether in one place,” he says about the Centre. “It’s the smart way to do it.” 

Despite being located beside busy roadways, the Calgary Cancer Centre will have more than 6,200 square meters of outdoor accessible spaces helping people connect with nature and providing a more relaxing healing environment. Something as simple as natural light and green spaces can make a world of difference for patients and families going through treatment. “There’s going to be color and energy and freshness… When I’m at the hospital for weeks at a time, it would be nice to [have] conversations with people in a positive space,” says Jim.

Jim and Tracey felt that it was important to address the unique needs of young cancer patients and their families. With the support of their network, they began the Button Family Initiative in Pediatric Psychosocial Oncology & Survivorship at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. The first project supported by this initiative is led by Dr. Fiona Schlute, Ph.D., whose research focuses on improving the health and psychological outcomes for young survivors and enhancing real-time communication between researchers, clinicians, and patients and families, alike.

 Together, we are making great strides to improve the quality of life for cancer patients and survivors by treating the body, mind and spirit as a whole. 

Click here to learn about the five critical areas in which we aim to tackle cancer.

This is our moment. Our once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the landscape of cancer research, care and treatment. We’re ready to OWN.CANCER. Are you with us?

Click here to Donate.


OWN.CANCER campaign aims to change Canadians’ cancer stories — for the better

Chancellor Deborah Yedlin tells her mother’s story, just one example of hope

In 1962, Tova Yedlin was balancing an already full plate, in the midst of earning her PhD in history and raising her two children. It was also the year that she received a devastating cancer diagnosis.

“My mother was visiting her parents in Montreal when she felt a lump in her breast,” says Deborah Yedlin, Tova’s daughter and chancellor of the University of Calgary. “We came back to Edmonton and she went to her doctor. He referred her to a surgeon who performed a radical mastectomy.”

Being just a year old at the time, Yedlin doesn’t remember her mother going through treatment. In fact, it wasn’t until she was 17 that she learned of the diagnosis. Even her brother, who is 12 years her senior, was not aware of what their mother had gone through.

“My brother and I just pieced it together ourselves,” she says. The conversation took place one evening when the family was sitting shiva — part of the Jewish mourning cycle — after their grandfather’s passing. “We went to our mother afterwards and said, ‘Tell us your story, because you’ve never shared any of it.’”

Tova hadn’t shared the experience because she didn’t want to worry her children. “As a survivor of World War II, she had this survivor mentality of just wanting to deal with challenges and move on,” says Yedlin. “And (her cancer experience) was unlike today’s where you have a network of people who help you, bring you food. My mother told only one friend, the one who took her to her radiation treatments.”

Today, with half of all Canadians facing a diagnosis in their lifetimes, cancer is so ubiquitous that not seeking help is often not an option. And when a close friend was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early forties — the same age at which her mother was diagnosed — Yedlin knew she would receive the needed support through her treatments. What was surprising, however, was that the protocol was not much different than what her mother received 40 years earlier.

Deborah Yedlin with her mother, Tova

“The only difference in the treatment (my friend) received versus what my mother received was that there was a lumpectomy instead of a radical mastectomy,” she says. “I was fascinated by how much hadn’t changed in that time.”

That innate curiosity and passion for the cause made Yedlin an obvious choice to co-chair the Calgary Cancer Centre Campaign, which is on a mission to raise $250 million in support of improved prevention, detection and treatment of cancer at the new Calgary Cancer Centre.

“I believe very strongly in the need to leverage the existing research at UCalgary,” she says. “We already have some fantastic success stories, whether it’s the Calgary protocol for stroke treatment — which has now been used around the world — or our expertise in treating Crohn’s disease and colitis, multiple sclerosis, and the incredible research taking place in the realm of glioblastoma . . . we’ve been making some incredible progress in Calgary. We’re good at finding opportunities to go beyond the status quo, to leverage our strengths and have impact.”

The Calgary Cancer Centre is such an opportunity. Together with Alberta Health Services and the Alberta Cancer Foundation, UCalgary is realizing an ambitious dream — to build the largest, most comprehensive stand-alone cancer care centre in Canada. Construction is already underway, with doors set to open in 2023.

The centre will break down silos, bringing together the right people with the right tools under one roof — something Dr. Don Morris, MD, PhD, the project’s medical lead, says is essential to transforming cancer research and care.

“It takes a village to improve patient care,” says Morris, who also heads the Cumming School of Medicine’s (CSM) Department of Oncology and serves as facility medical director at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. “Whether you would define yourself as a clinician, a researcher, or part of the patient’s health-care team — it doesn’t matter who you are, you’re part of that village.”

The community at large also plays an integral role in the campaign. OWN.CANCER isn’t just a slogan or tagline, it’s a call to action. By supporting the Calgary Cancer Centre, you’re not only helping your fellow Albertans, adds Morris, you may be helping yourself or a loved one down the line.

Dr. Jennifer Chan, MD, scientific director of the Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute at the CSM — the research institute affiliated with the Cancer Cancer Centre — seconds that, noting the importance of community support, whether that’s donating, volunteering, participating in research or simply spreading the word. “If we want to improve everybody’s health, we need everybody on board and engaging with research,” she says.

Philanthropy is an integral part of that support, as that additional funding allows the centre to move quickly, to hire people and purchase equipment as potentially game-changing opportunities arise.

“There are many types of funding mechanisms, such as federal funding and provincial health-care budgets, but among these, philanthropy is uniquely agile,” says Chan. “It keeps you nimble and responsive, so one is able to capture opportunities.”

“This is about offering hope. It’s about moving Alberta forward,” she says. “We’re transforming cancer care in the short, medium and long term. It’s a sign of what Calgary can be and what we can do together when we recognize there’s a need.”

And from a personal standpoint, Yedlin knows what this will mean for people living with cancer — people like her mother and her friend.

“My mother survived. She finished her PhD and lived to age 96. And my friend is clear now, thank God for that,” says Deborah Yedlin. “But in the interim, I’ve also lost a friend to glioblastoma and I have another friend who has stage-four lung cancer. It just doesn’t end. And that’s why you’ve got to act. That’s why we’re doing this.”


As originally published at the University of Calgary News