Give'r Project 2020

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About

Launched during the pandemic when countless fundraising events have been cancelled, Give’r Project is a platform for Canadians to challenge themselves while supporting cancer research and the life-changing work that goes on at their local cancer centre.

When you register you can direct your funds raised to any of Alberta’s regional cancer centres…from the large primary care centres at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton and the Tom Baker Cancer Centre to our 15 other regional cancer centres in Red Deer, Fort McMurray, Hinton, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge and more.

What’s your Give’r Project?

How it all started

Team Give’r was founded on the Juan De Fuca trail on the west coast of BC by a group of friends who awoke in the rainforest with a 6-hour hike ahead of them and only 4 hours to do it.

The solution? Just Give’r.

From this happy adventure our friendship endured until Team Give’r was called on again. One of our own was facing the fight of his life.

Andrew’s Story

In October of 2005, at the age of 37, I was told I had testicular cancer. In that moment everything fell away. My career, my hopes for the future…everything.

I was lucky.

Within days a close friend who had gone through testicular cancer and had been cured called me and assured me that everything would be alright…that I would get through it. That I would live. That phone call of assurance…knowing someone who had beaten cancer…was the first step in my journey back to health.

I was a lifelong athlete and cyclist, competing in triathlons and running events with friends for fun and bragging rights. As a fan of the Tour de France I had begun to follow Lance Armstrong during his rise to cycling dominance. His book “It’s Not About the Bike” details his stage 4 testicular cancer diagnosis, treatment, and his return to form.

Say what you will about Lance’s tactics. His willingness to speak openly and frankly about his ordeal, along with the Livestrong Foundation’s Guidebook, put me in the driver’s seat where I needed to be.

Testicular cancer is among the very rarest of cancers afflicting men but is among the most common among young men. Just 30 short years earlier…within my lifetime… it would have been a death sentence. That changed in 1974 when a young medical oncologist, Lawrence H. EinhornM.D., tested the platinum-based drug Cisplatin with two additional drugs that were effective in killing testicular cancer cells. This combination became the cure that saved my life.

I was lucky to have been born in Canada where our cancer outcomes are among the best in the world. I was lucky that the crushing veil of shame that had always shrouded a cancer diagnosis had been lifted, and that resources like the Testicular Cancer Resource Centre were available to me to understand my diagnosis. The TCRC empowered me to make informed decisions and to develop a fighting spirit amid the fear and confusion.

Finally, like you, I am lucky to be living in a golden age of cancer research when we have made more progress in the past 10 years than we had in the previous 250 years of exploration. This golden age is made possible in large part by the support of private donors…each of whom believe in the vision of a world free from cancer.

Treatment

After successful surgery and a clean CT scan we were given the option of regular surveillance - blood tests, x-rays and scans every 3 months - in the hope of avoiding further treatment.

Christmas of 2006 brought the unhappy news of enlarged lymph nodes in my abdomen, confirming that the cancer had spread. I was prescribed a 9-week course of chemotherapy after a panel of experts reviewed the results of 2 scans. The treatment, based on Dr. Einhorn’s discovery in 1974, was hellacious with frightening side effects, but I emerged in April battered but with a clean bill of health. Victory!

Cancer research saved my life. I owe a debt to every intrepid donor and researcher who contributes to that vision.

Having been through diagnosis, surgery, surveillance and chemotherapy I can say from experience how extraordinary our cancer control system is in Canada. My survival is a testament to how important ongoing cancer research is.

How far we’ve come

On October 11, 2020 Andrew will celebrate 15 years as a cancer survivor…but his story is just one of dozens in our immediate network. Dear friends have been diagnosed, treated and are either cured or are living with cancer. Loved ones have battled and succumbed to the disease. Throughout we have supported each other, cried together and stayed united in our vision.

2020 is our 14th straight year riding, running, walking and fundraising so that others diagnosed with cancer might be saved the way Andrew and countless others have been. Along the way Team Give'r and Team Alberta Cancer Foundation have raised over $638,000 toward our vision of a world free from cancer.

This is all because of the generosity of private donors and companies, and their belief in the cause.

Where we are headed…a world free from cancer

As an advocate for cancer research and enhanced care, I have said countless times that our goal is "to see a world free from cancer in my lifetime".

Given how far we’ve come, the accelerating pace of progress, and the prospect of AI coming on-line in medical research applications I am convinced that we are now only 10 short years away from the reality of a world free from cancer. To me this means that in the overwhelming majority of cases the cancers that afflict us will be curable as mine was. People will always get cancer but soon, with your help, they need no longer fear death as a result.

Your Commitment

Similar to other Peer2Peer fundraising events you are familiar with, we’re all agreeing to challenge ourselves in a new way. Starting April 12th, 2020, the 40th anniversary of Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope, Team Give’r began our commitment to cover 8,000 kms cycling, running, swimming and walking…either together or on our own. This was the planned distance of Terry's cross-Canada odyssey beginning in 1980...cut short by lung cancer. If you want to join us just register with STRAVA, join the club Team Give’r, and start moving!

Get creative and personalise your Give’r Project. It’s meant to be inclusive of everyone…young and old and athletes and non-athletes alike. Whatever you choose, let your donors know you are committing to a challenge to honour their support for this cause that affects us all at a time when the funding is needed more than ever.

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