fbpx PixelServer

5 Ways to Support Someone With Cancer

June 19, 2024

Found in General

When someone you love is facing cancer it can be hard to know how to help. Patients and their families share some small things that made a big difference in their cancer journey.

Jess and Ramona Ketchum are donating to Personalized Approaches in the Treatment of Head and Neck Cancers (PATH)

Offer a ride.

Not only did Jess Ketchum’s best buddies organize transportation to get him to BC Cancer – Vancouver and back home to West Vancouver during his daily radiation treatments, they often picked him up with a sweet, cold treat in tow.

“I never had to drive once,” says his wife Ramona. “They never failed. For seven weeks one took him to the clinic every morning and one brought him home at night,” — often with a White Spot milkshake when Jess’ radiation-ravaged throat could swallow little else.

Chris Ho and his dad, Jeff, with his son Caden

Ask what they need and listen.

Everyone is different, says two-time testicular cancer survivor Chris Ho. “What people need can range from getting their mind off things and going out, talking it out, or even crying it out, or not talking about it at all. Lean into what they need in the moment, and know that it may change.”

When Chris’ dad was diagnosed with lung cancer, making space for him to share his incredible journey of escape from the communist war in Vietnam was healing for both father and son. “He tried three times to flee,” says Chris who is grateful to have captured his dad’s brave story before he passed away, and that he’ll be able to tell it to his own boys one day.

Create or join a fundraising event.

After 13-year-old Myles Lindsay was diagnosed with stomach cancer, his family’s fundraising helped him stay positive. To distract them, Myles’ Aunt Susan signed up for Workout to Conquer Cancer. “Our team was Miles for Myles. Family and friends moved for the month of May and raising over $92,000 put a huge smile on Myles’ face,” says his mom Lana.

The next year, in 2022, Myles set a goal of $100,000. Sadly, he passed away just after learning they had far surpassed his goal. Myles’ family continues to move every May in his honour and have raised close to $600,000.

Ann Squires Ferguson, CEO of Victoria’s Western Design+Build

Give on their behalf.

While casseroles are almost always welcome, Vancouver Island ovarian cancer survivor Ann Squires Ferguson says she most appreciated the friends and family who stepped away from the kitchen to step up and support BC Cancer and the clinicians and researchers who saved her life.

“The outpouring of love I received was incredible and I got asked so many times, ‘What can I do?’” says Ann. “My answer was always: ‘Donate.’ My family was well cared for, we had enough food, flowers and books and so I told people, ‘If you really want to make a difference, donate to ovarian cancer research.”

Photo of Roger and Peggy Gouin

Find joy in the everyday.

Knowing their time was limited after his wife Peggy’s rare blood cancer diagnosis, Roger Gouin says they cherished every moment together. “Watching a movie, having a cup of coffee, going for a walk — it didn’t matter as long as we did it together, says Roger.

“Being with Peggy, even when she was sick, was always a joy. Even when it got so that my car almost drove itself to the hospital we’d crank up the music and sing or have a nice conversation.”