Resilience. When we decided to make that our theme for this issue of Leap magazine, it wasn’t hard to come up with examples of different ways people display that characteristic in the face of cancer.
We see it every day in our roles with the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Last month, we watched almost 1800 cyclists ride 220 kilometres over two days in the scorching heat. Many of our Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer participants donned yellow flags on their bikes, indicating a cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives. Some were in the middle of treatment, wearing chemo packs under their jerseys. Others wore lymphedema sleeves to get them to the finish line. Most participants had a personal cancer story and sadly, have lost someone to cancer. We all found solace at the strength in numbers at the event and more importantly, being able to make life better for Albertans by raising $7.8 million. You will read about one of those special families in this issue.
When Deana Keating, a single mother of three died of cervical cancer in 2011, her friends Andrea and Jim Scott left the hospital with her three children and without question, took them into their own family of four (and their two-bedroom Airdrie home). For the second year in a row, Jim took part in our Ride, with Team Cam Clark Ford Flyers, raising money so that other children don’t have to lose their mother (page 24). That’s resilience.
We also see it in our researchers, who sometimes spend years answering a single question or proving that their idea will work. Or sometimes, that it won’t work. As Dr. Ing Swie Goping says (page 22), you may spend years on a development and be prepared to accept failure if it doesn’t prove beneficial to patients. But at the end of the process, it’s still new knowledge to the scientific community and to patients, and that’s what helps keep her motivated.
And at the end of June, we saw resilience pay off when the provincial government announced the building of a new comprehensive cancer centre at the Foothills Hospital in Calgary. In the face of five announcements since 2005, our front-line staff, community and Alberta Cancer Foundation continue to persevere and work tirelessly towards the goal of a much-needed centre. We will stand with our partners in the government and Alberta Health Services to ensure this facility is built with the help of our donors so southern Albertans get the best care today and tomorrow.
We are honoured to witness such resilience across the province and hope you find as much inspiration from reading this issue.
Myka Osinchuk, CEO
Alberta Cancer Foundation
Angela Boehm, Chair
Alberta Cancer Foundation