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Lighting the path forward for lymphoma cancer - The Panusa's Story - Make a Will Week

Angela Panusa first met her Italian husband, Giovanni (John), during her work as an interpreter in China. Their connection was undeniable and, despite their different backgrounds, they ended up marrying in 1999. “John was really my first love,” remembers Angela. “The thought of me moving away from my home in China to start a life with John seemed incomprehensible in the beginning, but after spending so much time together, we eventually grew to a point where we never wanted to be apart.” ​ Yin and Yang garden that Angela and John built together at their Tsawwassen home before his diagnosis In...

Men Can Get Breast Cancer Too

In 2015, well-known Vancouver sportscaster Neil Macrae noticed a lump in his breast that was the size of a golf ball. He went to the doctor and the news that followed was shocking: it was Stage III breast cancer. Through genomic analysis, it was uncovered that Neil had the BCRCA1/2 mutation, which puts individuals at a higher risk for breast, prostate (for men), ovarian (for women) and pancreatic cancers. Neil would go on to face two other types of cancer –the third eventually took his life in 2017. Today, Neil’s widow Laurie Rix, longtime supporter of BC Cancer Foundation, is actively...

How Research is Saving Lives - Cher Stephen's Story

After dealing with the devastation of colorectal cancer, Victoria, BC resident Cher Stephens could hardly believe the news when she was diagnosed a second time with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Thrust into new treatment, Cher’s diagnosis and condition took a turn for the worst when her chemotherapy was found to be ineffective. Deemed as palliative, Cher made the decision to start on two new targeted drugs, one of which, Venetoclax, is currently being trialed at BC Cancer. In a drastic turn of events, Cher’s cancer responded, and she is now in full remission. “New medications and treatment...

A Lasting Legacy through Lung Cancer – Dr. Cynthia Chan’s Story

Shortly before Dr. Cynthia Chan was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in 2014, the signs of the disease started to emerge from a cough lasting well over two weeks. As a family physician for much of her adult life, the diagnosis took her by surprise, especially as a never-smoker. Since her diagnosis, Dr. Chan has undergone a wide array of treatments at BC Cancer, including radiation, chemotherapy, and targeted drug therapy made possible by genomics. She remains a proponent of the need for continued research for this cancer that is expected to occur in over 3,790 people this year. These days...

Growing up with brain cancer – Logan Lay’s story

For 23-year old Logan Lay, cancer has been a daily reality since being diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of 8. Her journey has seen multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and full brain and spine radiation. Coping with the long-term challenges Today, after a total of three relapses, Logan’s tumour is stable, but she still struggles with the realities that come with long-term effects of cancer, including autonomic crises that occur from her body not being able to regulate basic functions like blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, vomiting or breathing. These otherwise normal functions cause...

Brain cancer at 24 - Dana Kyle's Story

Dana after a recent brain surgery At just 24-years-old, Dana Kyle is coping with a reality that goes further than the challenges of social distancing and increased fear due to COVID-19. At the beginning of the summer, Dana suffered a serious and unexpected seizure that resulted in doctors discovering three brain tumours. On July 3, Dana was diagnosed with Grade III brain cancer, known as diffuse anaplastic astrocytoma. Due to the visitor guidelines to keep patients safe during COVID-19, Dana was not able to see her partner or any other family members and bravely underwent her first brain...

Confronting Rectal Cancer at 26 - Joanne Kirkland's Story

At the young age of 26, Joanne Kirkland started to notice worrying symptoms of blood in her stool. Brushing it off as nothing serious due to her age Joanne went back to normal life. Several months later, after the blood became more prevalent, Joanne sought medical attention, only to be told again that she was too young for something to be seriously wrong. Thankfully, Joanne pressed on to undergo a colonoscopy – a decision that would change her life forever. “Deep down I knew that I had cancer, but nothing prepares you for when you actually hear those words,” says Joanne. “I remember just...

Victoria Patient Shares Her Cancer Journey During COVID-19

Christine (middle) pictured with family For Christine Greenhalgh, the COVID-19 pandemic is more than added stress and social distancing. The Victoria resident recently completed her last round of treatment for a brain tumour, which first began on March 7 just as the coronavirus began ramping up around the world. “For me, radiation treatments and the pandemic are tied together and always will be,” she says. Though the world itself started to change, Christine says the care she received while undergoing treatment at BC Cancer – Victoria never wavered. As COVID-19 safety precautions grew, BC...

Nine-year-old painter sells stunning artwork for charity

Kate Morrissy pictured with art piece that sold for $1,000 in an online auction. Photo credit: CTV Vancouver Nine-year-old Kate Morrissy is proving that you’re never too young to make a difference. With schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the budding artist has been dedicating extra time to her favourite hobby - painting. And it’s all for a good cause. “I posted three of her paintings on my Instagram, and not long afterwards I was receiving inquiries from people wanting to purchase them,” says Karen Kerr, Kate’s mother. That’s when Kate had an idea - she could use her talents to help...

Finding Hope and Healing after Losing Mother to Terminal Brain Cancer – The Wasstrom Family’s Story

Lois (middle), pictured holding her grandson, Colby, alongside her daughter, Kathryn, and two sons, Eric and Steve In March 2014, after a family dinner out, Lois Wasstrom unexpectedly felt faint. Thanks to the fast action of her daughter and husband, she was taken to the hospital and underwent a CT scan. It was soon after the results came back that Lois underwent brain surgery, which found evidence of a tumour. After surgery, Lois and her family learned the devastating news that she had been diagnosed with Stage IV glioblastoma multiform – an aggressive form of brain cancer with a low...

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