On October 11, 2015 I enjoyed my 10th anniversary of being diagnosed with cancer. On that day 10 years ago cancer chose me. This is an appeal that you join me and thousands of Canadians in choosing “conquering cancer’ as a mission…that you join us in pursuing a cancer-free future through the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, Presented by EVRAZ.
Why Choose Cancer?
- 1 in 4 Canadians are expected to die from cancer.
- Cancer is the leading cause of premature death in Canada.
- 40% of Canadian males and nearly 45% of Canadian females will develop some form of the disease in their lifetimes.
One of my close friends lost his young wife to breast cancer after a long battle. The mother of a girl that we met at our daughter’s class lost her brother at a young age to testicular cancer.
We all know cancer survivors. I have a close friend who is thriving after surviving breast cancer. Among my circle of guy friends four of us have had testicular cancer. We are all doing great despite being diagnosed with diseases that were sure killers mere decades ago.
It must be said that these survivals also represent spouses, children, parents who still have loved ones in their lives. Each year, over 1,000,000 years of life are lost in Canada alone as a result of cancer deaths.
There is no denying that this is a disease that affects all of us.
Breakthroughs are being made every day in the race to find cures for this deadly disease. Simply put, our financial support of this cause goes directly to impacting outcomes for our neighbours, our colleagues, our family, ourselves.
As a 40-something male who has survived cancer once I am also keenly aware that the bulk of cancers that kill men still lurk in my future. Make no mistake…investing in effective cancer research is in our own personal best interest.
So what’s a person to do to? Quit smoking, eat well, exercise, manage stress and give back by funding the world-class prevention, screening, research and enhanced cancer funded by the Alberta Cancer Foundation.
Once my treatments began, I quickly realised that if I survived I would owe my life to visionary cancer researchers and breakthroughs funded by everyday people who cared. Back in March, 2007 I emerged after 3 cycles of chemotherapy battered and a caricature of my previously athletic self. I was barely able to jog 100m, but I found a brochure at the cancer centre for a 90km fundraising ride and signed up with determination to claw my way back to fitness.
That was 2007, and I’m fortunate that 2016 will be my 10th fundraising ride and 8th Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. With the help of thousands of donors over 9 years, my teams and I have raised over $455,000 for the cancer communities in BC and Alberta.
Riding to conquer cancer has become central to my life. I am convinced we will see a world free from cancer within our lifetime. Why not join this critical movement in support of Albertans facing cancer and their families?
Why Choose Alberta Cancer Foundation?
We are fortunate in Alberta to be able to invest in a foundation where 100% of all funds go directly to support Albertans. To underline the impact that the Alberta Cancer Foundation (ACF) makes in the lives of Albertans facing cancer, here are some of the recent accomplishments and continuing programs supported by our donor dollars.
Dr. Ing Swie Goping and the BAD protein
The ACF supports a breast cancer research program, led by Dr. Ing Swie Goping, that has identified a biomarker that could predict who should receive taxane chemotherapy and who shouldn’t. Taxane chemotherapy is extremely effective in treating some women with breast cancer and not others, but until now we haven’t had a way to know why. If we could save hundreds of Albertans from undergoing this treatment, which can produce harsh side effects, we could relieve unnecessary suffering and begin alternative treatments sooner. This is the promise of Dr. Goping and her team’s research.
Lung Cancer Screening
Lung Cancer is one of the most deadly of cancers. This year alone, 2,000 Albertans are expected to be diagnosed with lung cancer, and sadly 1,700 are expected to die. Early detection presents the greatest opportunity to intervene effectively and save lives, and yet there are no provincial lung cancer screening programs currently in Canada. The ACF is funding a provincial lung cancer screening project that has just started recruiting patients in both Calgary and Edmonton. The goal of the project is to be the first province to implement a screening program to detect the disease early…hopefully before it is too late.
The ACF is unique among cancer foundations…focusing considerable energy on delivering immediate impact on cancer patients and their families through investments in enhanced care at all 17 cancer centres across the province. They provide support to patients, no matter where they are on their journey. From comfortable chemo chairs or blanket warmers to patient financial assistance that ensures that patients who need it receive financial assistance at their time of greatest need. Patient navigators are another of the worthwhile investments that ACF donors support that make the cancer journey easier and outcomes better, mostly for rural Albertans.
These investments simply would not have been possible without the private funding supplied through events like the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer in support of the ACF. You can read about all of these programs and more at http://www.albertacancer.ca.
To quote the Alberta Cancer Foundation website:
We strive to be one of the most innovative, philanthropic organizations in Canada by delivering transformational results for Alberta cancer patients and their families. We strategically invest in research and programs that have a direct line of sight to patients. We are taking a bold, new approach to speed progress and bring results to patients faster.
The people that I have met through fundraising and the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer have become my closest and dearest friends. Our annual 200km bike ride is both moving and enriching. I hope you will join us, and if you do, thank you for making an impact in the lives of Albertans facing cancer and their families.
Whatever your reason for continuing to support cancer research, thank you. Here is a short videofesto from the Alberta Cancer Foundation that talks about the impact you are having.
All Statistics from Canadian Cancer Society. Read more.