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Rare Cancer Becomes a Ray of Hope Through a Gift in a Will

October 3, 2022

Found in General,  Innovation

Inspired by the care he received at BC Cancer — and the life-long teachings of his parents who taught him to always seek out opportunities to do good — Larry Samuels left a generous gift in his will to the BC Cancer Foundation.

Even as a young boy, Larry Samuels' parents taught him to find the "ray of sunshine" in even the darkest times.
Larry Samuels credited his mom (shown above, with him as a young boy) and dad for teaching him to find the “ray of sunshine” in even the darkest times.

When Larry Samuels was diagnosed with undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (UPS) cancer — a rare type of cancer for which there is currently no cure — he was determined to find some good that could come out of it.

He saw an opportunity and generously chose to leave a gift in his will to the BC Cancer Foundation, which will help fund critical research into UPS cancer at BC Cancer.


“My father always taught me to find the ray of sunshine,” Larry recalled. “When bad things happen, we mustn’t throw our hands down. Instead, we must ask what we can do.”

Larry’s hope was that his gift will change the way that UPS cancer is diagnosed and treated, and that doctors will have more positive outcomes to share when patients receive a diagnosis in the future.

In addition to leaving a gift in his will, Larry’s philanthropic legacy lives on in the UPS Cancer Fist Bump Fund, that he established in honour of his oncologist, Dr. Ronan McDermott.

Larry described the care he received at BC Cancer as phenomenal, but it was Dr. McDermott in particular, who was with him every step of the way.

“He would fist bump me at the end of all our time together. This small celebration meant everything to me,” Larry shared. “He showed me such grace, compassion and friendship — that’s why it’s called the Fist Bump Fund.”

When asked what he would say to someone considering leaving a gift in their will to the BC Cancer Foundation, Larry said to think about where those funds can have the most impact.

“My goal from the beginning was to save a life. If I can do that, every cent will be worth it.”


As the fundraising partner of BC Cancer, every dollar we raise advances care across BC Cancer’s six world-class centres and research programs. Invest in Larry’s wish for the future by making a donation to the UPS Cancer Fist Bump Fund, and learn more about leaving a gift in your will.