We are a family deeply rooted in Alberta. We are Greg’s parents, his two brothers and two sisters. We are part of a bigger family who miss him deeply. He is missing in every meeting we have, every family event, every time we are in need of a friend.
Greg has a gift for inspiring others to challenge themselves. He led by example and he would not have stood down from this fight. We are doing this because this is what he would have done. Greg should have spent hours pacing around the room brainstorming about how to fix the system.
It is difficult to find words to describe Greg. The following note, the last one that he wrote to his family and friends shows a glimpse of his character:
“I wish had better news to be contacting everyone with this morning but wanted to give everyone an update at once.
Yesterday I was diagnosed with testicular cancer, or at least a 99% probability of. I have been experiencing some symptoms for a number of months, mainly lower back and abdominal pain, and the over the last few weeks the diagnosis has lead to testicular cancer, that was confirmed yesterday. The abdominal and back pain is a result of a relatively large mass present in the back of my abdomen.
I am scheduled in for primary surgery to remove one testical at Rockyview General on Wednesday. It is planned for just day surgery with the possibility of one overnight. Tissue samples we be taken and sent to the lab to determine the specific type of cancer cells, these pathology results will take about a week. This will give final confirmation of the diagnosis and guide the next treatment steps. The most likely treatment will be several rounds of chemotherapy, and/or the possibility of further surgery. I am sure this is a little overwhelming and a shock to everyone but I chose to not talk much about it until I knew for sure. Testicular cancer is one of the most treatable cancers with an extremely high cure rate. I am confident I can come out of this in several months stronger than ever.
As a final note, I want all of you to know, that while I haven’t been that forthcoming about my challenges and diagnosis up to this point, don’t think that each of you hasn’t been supporting me. I am blessed to have the most incredible family and friends, and it is through this group of shared experiences, memories and futures that I gather considerable strength. Christmas dinners, random roadtrips, bad jokes, late night movies, unexpected overnighters, acting like kids and playing with the kids all make it easy to get up in the morning and look at this challenge as merely a bump in the road to be overcome and no more. Each of you gives me more strength than I will ever be able to describe and for that I have all of you to thank.
All the best and see you soon,
Greg had roots that he loved and a wingspan that is immeasurable. He will never be forgotten and continues to inspire us in everything we do.
Greg trusted that our health care system would be there when he needed it. Greg had already gone through many challenges, but was confident he was strong enough to get through them all. What he didn’t know is that the system was not strong enough to support him, that he would be lost in the system and lost to those who cherished him.
The story speaks for itself; the Alberta health care system has to change. We share our experience in the system with the hope that it will prevent other families from having to experience what we did.
The pain of our loss is still there but the desire to prevent this from happening again is there too.
Help to evolve health care in Alberta to something we are all proud of, Health care that is Continuous, Collaborative and Patient Centered. One that can be appropriately named a system. Join in on the conversation and show that you care too by liking, tweeting, linking and sharing.
For those who have already taken up our cause, done their part to investigate, spread the word, and who honour Greg we are truly thankful.