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Planned Giving – Retired BC Cancer Employee on Legacy of Gratitude

May 8, 2024

“Such a shock,” is how Sheila King, a retired BC Cancer staff member who helped build the province’s mammography network, describes suddenly finding herself in the patient’s seat after a routine breast screening.

And now she’s giving thanks to BC Cancer – an organization she knows from the inside-out and calls “an incredibly worthwhile cause” – through a legacy gift in her estate.

Sheila spent 13 years as the operations lead for an interdisciplinary team of oncologists, radiologists, technologists, nurses, statisticians and more. The team was responsible for expanding BC Cancer’s mammogram program from just two sites to 34 sites across the province, including two mobile units to reach rural communities.

“I was part of a great team,” she says of her career at BC Cancer. “We knew it meant a lot and it would help so many women.”

BC Cancer’s mammography program was one of the first organized screening programs in Canada and now completes 270,000 screens each year. Mammograms enable earlier detection for breast cancer – the most common cancer among women – and research shows an over 25% decrease in deaths for those who are regularly screened.

Then, just as Sheila was preparing for retirement, her world was flipped upside down by a routine scan. She had mammograms in the past and was going in part to support a girlfriend who was nervous to go alone.

The initial feeling of fear that follows a cancer diagnosis was quickly alleviated at BC Cancer – Vancouver, where she had spent so many years helping build the very program that saved her life.

“The oncologists and nurses immediately made me feel so safe and I’m incredibly grateful for the care I received at BC Cancer.”

Two decades later, Sheila is happily enjoying retirement. She spends her days travelling with her husband and hiking and golfing with her close-knit group of friends on the North Shore.

Sheila has chosen to include the BC Cancer Foundation in her estate plans as a mark of appreciation for the years BC Cancer has given her – both in her career and retirement – and to power future programs that will benefit the patients who will come after her.

“And don’t miss your mammogram. It could save your life. I’m the perfect example of that,” Sheila reminds.

To learn more about leaving a legacy gift to the BC Cancer Foundation, we welcome you or your advisor to contact 1.888.906.2873 or email legacy@bccancer.bc.ca.

Or visit, bccancerfoundation.com/LegacyGiving