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Finding Authenticity on the road to Recovery – Carly Allen’s Story

In 2014, after experiencing discomfort and pain while seated, Carly Allen was diagnosed with Stage III vulvar cancer. Upon diagnosis, Carly was immediately placed in the care of BC Cancer experts to determine a treatment plan. After a PET scan, Carly had surgery to remove cancerous lymph nodes in her groin, followed by chemotherapy and 39 rounds of radiation. “My skin peeled, my hair thinned but didn’t fall out, I lost 17 lbs, nowhere near as much as I expected. My oncologist told me that was a good sign, that my body was strong and fighting. It just wasn’t the image of what I thought cancer...

Facing Colorectal Cancer with Courage at 33 – Catherine Perka’s Story

In January 2019, Catherine Perka started noticing some alarming lower digestive symptoms in the form of blood in her stool, change of bowel movement patterns and uncomfortable bloating. After several visits to her doctor, Catherine was finally referred to a Gastroenterologist for a sigmoidoscopy. “They warned me that I would not get an appointment for a long time because I am young and healthy,” says Catherine. “I was surprised that my appointment was not until that May, which meant I had to wait four months for any answers.” In the meantime, Catherine tried to put on a brave face and...

Facing Cancer, Celebrating Strength – Natalie Matko Jackson’s Story

If you’re searching for words to describe Natalie Matko Jackson, vibrant, beautiful and positive are just a few that would come to mind. Her warm smile and infectious laugh reflect the healthy and fulfilling life she is focused on leading while facing her challenging reality. After moving to Vancouver for a job in 2010, Natalie’s active life took a drastic turn after she discovered a lump in her breast. “I had taken part in a fitness challenge, which resulted in me losing body fat and my breasts shrinking.” says Natalie, “I originally just assumed that the lump was due to all the pushups...

A Love Never Lost: Isla Haywood’s Story | Lose the Booze

24-year-old Isla Haywood lived a healthy and full life with her boyfriend Mike Brady. Then she began to experience odd symptoms such as migraines, irregular sensations of metallic smells and a reoccurring sense of déjà vu. Two months after her first symptoms, Isla’s life changed when she fainted in a coffee shop. A MRI in Vancouver confirmed that Isla was facing grade IV multiform glioblastoma brain cancer. Her prognosis was bleak and she was given just months to live. This news came as a devastating blow to both Mike and Isla’s family. Just one short year after diagnosis the cancer took...

How a Ground-breaking Clinical Trial Saved Allison Kelly's Life

In the summer of 2017, at the age of 36, Registered Nurse Allison Kelly was living a full and active life. It wasn’t until she had completed a strenuous back-country hike that she started to notice a pain in her leg. Chalking it up to nothing more than muscle soreness, Allison left for a lake getaway with her twin sister. It wasn’t long before she noticed her leg swelling. As a nurse, Allison quickly identified the swelling as a potential blood clot, which she found odd. Upon her return home, Allison made a visit to the hospital where they confirmed her blood clot. Unbeknownst to her, that...

Tips for Losing the Booze but Keeping the Fun

Evelyn Wu, BC Cancer Clinical Dietician Lose the Booze is officially underway for the month of February! If you’re someone who enjoys the occasional cocktail, beer or glass of wine during the week, this thought of making it to the end of the month sober may feel like a massive feat. We sat down with BC Cancer ’s in-house Clinical Dietitian, Evelyn Wu for some helpful tips on drinks that will help you reach the finish line during this February’s Lose The Booze campaign! The benefits of reducing alcohol consumption According to Evelyn, alcohol is a depressant drug that can slow down the parts...

Vancouver Artist Giving Back to the Cancer Community in a Beautiful Way

Meet Sue Bayley, local Vancouver artist who is giving back to the BC Cancer community in a beautiful way. Sue Bayley at her studio in Vancouver The Diagnosis In 2018, Sue was diagnosed with Stage IV marginal zone lymphoma In the winter of 2018, Sue, who had been in the movie production business for over 25 years, started to feel unusually exhausted. While long days, stress and fatigue were not uncommon, it became clear that something was not right. It wasn’t until Sue found a lump in her underarm that she started to fear the worst. After numerous tests, she received the news that she had...

Jingle Mingle Raises $650,000 for Innovative Therapies on Vancouver Island

Guests at Jingle Mingle 2019 On November 28, $650,000 was raised at the annual Jingle Mingle event in Victoria. Fueled by the generosity of 325 generous guests, along with several community sponsors, these funds will support the launch of the Innovative Therapies unit at BC Cancer - Victoria. View the full photo gallery here . Thanks to generous donors, $650,000 was raised for Innovative Therapies The primary goal of the Innovative Therapies unit is to create more clinical trials for patients on Vancouver Island and beyond. Currently, there are six trials available in Victoria, and with the...

Canadian Naval Officer Defies the Odds after Testicular Cancer Diagnosis

In the summer of 2017, Royal Canadian Navy Officer, Stephen Tomlinson was diagnosed with testicular cancer that had spread to his lymph nodes, lungs and brain. The chances of survival were extremely low, but thanks to the experts at BC Cancer , Stephen is here today to tell his story. The Background Stephen and his wife after his diagnosis In 2017, Stephen returned from deployment and started to experience what he thought were allergies in the form of a cough. While persistent, Stephen assumed the cough would go away on its own. Then he started coughing blood. Knowing he had to seek medical...

2019 Discovery Luncheon Raises Record $370,000 to Support Genomics

The ninth-annual Discovery Luncheon in Kelowna on November 5 raised a record-setting $370,000 to help bring genomically-based solutions to BC Cancer - Kelowna and hope to families facing cancer across the interior. Guests at the 2019 Discovery Luncheon Hosted at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, the event welcomed members of the community alongside BC Cancer experts to connect and invest in the future of cancer care: genomics. 2019 Discovery Luncheon at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort See the full event gallery here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmJbYNJv The event welcomed patient speaker, Shannon Gall...

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