In this issue of Leap magazine, we look at palliative care, a topic that is not always easy to discuss. But part of our job at the Alberta Cancer Foundation is to ease the cancer journey for Albertans, no matter where they are on their journey.
Enbridge’s incoming CEO Al Monaco (L) with Alberta Cancer Foundation CEO Myka Osinchuk and Chair of the Board of Trustees, John Osler
Many people think palliative care only deals with an end-of-life scenario. It actually starts from the moment of diagnosis and can take any form of treatment that concentrates on reducing symptoms, improving quality of life and supporting patients and their families. That’s why the people featured in this issue occupy such a range on the cancer spectrum.
Research has shown that palliative care and its components are beneficial to the health and well-being of patients and families. All the components play crucial parts within the process and enhance patients’ experiences and improve quality of life. However, once a patient reaches a point where treatment is no longer warranted, palliative care becomes the focus.
As researchers learn about best practices, so will Albertans.
While we were preparing this issue, we were also in the middle of a busy event season at the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Aside from a string of community events, we hosted our “challenge events” in June and July – Underwear Affairs, the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer (we both cycled in the rain in that one) and the Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Women’s Cancers. Thousands of participants raised an impressive $11.3 million for cancer research, enhanced care, prevention and screening in this province.
After careful deliberation and declining participation, we said goodbye to the Shoppers Drug Mart Weekend to End Women’s Cancers but feel privileged to have cheered on these walkers for the past eight years. What an impact they have made. They raised more than $45 million dollars, allowing us to invest in initiatives dedicated to ending women’s cancers right here at home. The dollars raised by these committed participants allowed us to create an endowed research chair, purchase two fully equipped mobile clinics offering digital mammograms in rural Alberta to 25,000 women a year, and provide financial assistance to patients and families in need during treatment, just to name a few initiatives.
We hope these same committed participants continue to focus their energy on one of our many other ways to raise money for friends, families and loved ones right here in Alberta. Thank you for being powerful partners in Alberta’s cancer-free movement.
John Osler, Chair
Alberta Cancer Foundation
Myka Osinchuk, CEO
Alberta Cancer Foundation