Just over a year ago, Jackie Ellis had a week that changed her life.  The athletic Vancouver resident had been troubled by shortness of breath, tightness in her chest and a racing heartbeat for several months. Finally, on Thursday, July 29, 2010, she was given a diagnosis: lymphoma. Within the next four days, she’d met several specialists, had two biopsies and a CT scan. By Tuesday, she had started her first round of chemotherapy: “I still can’t get over how quickly I was treated and how well I was cared for.”

While getting her chemo, Jackie recalls, ”I could see the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre across the street. I would pray that some brilliant scientist would make a discovery that might help me.” And they did.

Researchers in the Centre for Lymphoid Cancer – a team led by Dr. Randy Gascoyne and Dr. Christian Steidl – found a critical genetic mutation in the same type of lymphoma Jackie had. This will speed development of new treatments, such as targeted chemotherapy for individual patients.

Jackie celebrates her good health by returning to the things she loves, like riding her bike on the Stanley Park Seawall and entertaining her many friends. And she remains impressed by the close collaboration between BC Cancer Agency researchers and clinicians as supported by the BC Cancer Foundation: ”It’s inspiring.”