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You are making life better for Albertans facing cancer
We’ve all heard the cancer stories, read the stats, and most likely have experienced the impact of cancer up close and personal or with someone we love. In fact, if there’s one thing Albertans can agree on, it’s that no one wants to hear the words, “you have cancer.” So everyone is in favour of better care, facilities and above all else, outcomes. Together with the brightest minds in research and compassionate care, the Alberta Cancer Foundation is making life better for Albertans facing cancer.
We stand alongside every Albertan who hears those fateful words “you have cancer,” by pushing the pace of progress that leads to faster diagnoses, groundbreaking research and leading-edge treatments.
We don’t do this alone - we bring together donors, patients, healthcare providers and researchers, because we know this is the fastest way to close the gap between diagnosis and cure. We are the official fundraising partner for all 17 cancer centres in Alberta, including the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary and the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton. Through this partnership, we are able to make the most significant impact for patients, right at the point of care.
The Alberta Cancer Foundation invests with a clear line of sight to patient outcomes. We invest in initiatives that provide real-life returns. Cancer patients returning to their lives. Parents returning to young children. Employees returning to work. People from all over our province returning, in the thousands, to their communities. What greater return on investment could there possibly be?
In 2004, newly married Trevor Sauer was diagnosed with melanoma. And after two years of unsuccessful chemotherapy, Dr. Michael Smylie had to deliver some grim news to Trevor and his new bride, Melissa. Trevor had six months to live. He had run out of treatment options.
As his oncologist, Dr. Smylie says, at the time there were no effective treatments for melanoma. “It was a very depressing tumour to treat,” Smylie says. “For a long time we didn’t understand the biology.”
A few months later, however, there was a glimmer. Dr. Smylie told Trevor about a clinical trial for stage four melanoma patients, investigating a new immunotherapy drug. He immediately signed up. What happened next is a result of world-class research that is happening right now at the Cross Cancer Institute.
“Trevor had a great response to treatment and is now cancer-free more than five years later,” says Dr. Smylie. Without that clinical trial and the support of the Alberta Cancer Foundation, Trevor knows he would not be here today.
“If I could say anything, I would say thank you. Thank you for giving me my life. Without your support, I wouldn’t be here. It’s as simple as that.”
More than 30 years after surviving a cervical cancer diagnosis, Mary Beth Eckersley heard an unfortunately familiar phrase from her doctor: you have cancer. This time it would be breast cancer and an aggressive type.
“I was devastated and completely thrown off because I was sure they were going to tell me it was just a cyst and it was no big deal,” says Mary Beth.
Standing up to her diagnosis with an open mind and heart, Mary Beth moved forward with a positive attitude. She set goals along the way to help keep her spirits up - like becoming an accredited Aquafit instructor, which she achieved earlier this year.
Mary Beth’s journey was made better thanks to her compassionate cancer care team at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre.
“We are united. Cancer is not pretty and you cannot do it alone. I am so grateful to the Alberta Cancer Foundation and the Tom Baker Cancer Centre for every moment I have to continue being a proud advocate for cancer research here in Alberta.”.
Mary Beth knows that her treatment was a result of ground-breaking research. “Cancer research to me is fundamental. If I had this cancer back when I was diagnosed with cervical cancer, I wouldn’t be here celebrating life.”
THANK YOU ALBERTA
”Going through a cancer diagnosis can be confusing. It is on your mind 24 hours a day and not knowing who to turn to for answers, is downright stressful. My patient navigator at the Margery E. Yuill Cancer Centre was a godsend. Every time I spoke to her, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. She lifted the burden off my shoulders so I could focus on healing.“
”Travelling to Calgary for radiation treatment only added to the stress of a cancer journey. Supporting the Central Alberta Cancer Centre means patients like me can receive chemotherapy and radiation treatment closer to home. I am thankful, grateful, blessed and loved. Thanks to Alberta’s world-class cancer centres, my story is a good one.“
”Our journey with cancer began fast and furious in March 2015. I simply don't have the words to truly express our feelings of support from the caregivers and patient navigators at the Grande Prairie Community Cancer Centre. Together with the Alberta Cancer Foundation and Cash and Cars Lottery, we will make life better for all Albertans facing cancer.“
Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary | Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton | Central Alberta (Red Deer) | Grande Prairie | Jack Ady (Lethbridge) | Margery E. Yuill (Medicine Hat) Barrhead | Bonnyville | Bow Valley | Camrose | Drayton Valley | Drumheller | High River | Hinton | Lloydminster | Fort McMurray | Peace River