Sitting in the waiting room at Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH), I wasn’t thinking about cancer.
Why would I? I was 27 years old. I was healthy and in good shape.
But something was wrong. My heart rate was irregular and too high. I had chest pain and a cough that wouldn’t go away.
I was glad the doctors at MSH sent me for a CT scan to see what was going on.
I could see from the look on the doctor’s face that it wasn’t good news. His words hit me like a bus: “You have a tumour the size of a football in your chest.”
My oncologist, Dr. Henry Solow, got me in for a biopsy right away. After that, things happened at warp speed. His quick action saved my life.
The biopsy showed aggressive cancer. The fast-growing tumour was compressing my heart and lungs to the point where it was hard to breathe.
It felt like someone was standing on my chest while I tried to inhale through a straw.
I needed immediate chemotherapy to shrink the tumour before it killed me. But even with chemo, my odds were grim.
The cancer had already spread to my heart lining and I only had a 50% chance of surviving. I couldn’t help but think of my life as a coin toss.
And yet, I never lost hope. With my family, Dr. Solow and the incredible team at MSH by my side, I believed this was a coin toss I was going to win.
I’m very grateful to everyone at MSH who came together to save my life. And, I’m also thankful to you.
Your generous support of vital equipment and state-of-the-art technology made all the difference in my battle against cancer.
It ensured my team had the tools they needed to care for me so I could focus on getting through the tough days.
Today, I hope the hospital can, once again, count on your generosity. Your special gift will help fund more of the lifesaving equipment cancer patients like me rely on to beat the odds.
It will bring the latest technology to MSH so more people can get the excellent care they need right here, close to home.
Those first two weeks were pretty scary, while I waited for the chemotherapy (chemo) to work. I had a hard time sleeping and even breathing.
The mass inside my chest was so big, I couldn’t get out of bed, much less walk.
During that time, the nurses at MSH were my angels. They took such great care of me. And Dr. Solow, he was at my bedside every morning to see how I was doing.
They are easily the most caring group of health care staff I’ve ever come into contact with.
Thankfully, the chemo did its job and my tumour began to shrink. As I started to feel better, my thoughts turned to my girlfriend and the big plans I had for us.
You see, I was planning to propose the very same weekend I was admitted to hospital. I told a couple nurses and together we came up with a new plan.
They found me a private room and my sisters even decorated it.
Then it was just the two of us – me and my beautiful girlfriend. With my heart full of hope, in spite of the long road still ahead of me,
I asked her to be my wife. She said, “YES!” My family and the staff at MSH were thrilled for us.
I’ll never forget the three weeks I spent at MSH during my cancer journey. MSH is where I got my first chance to beat cancer and live.
It’s where I took a giant step toward my new life with the woman of my dreams.
It is also where I learned about generous people like you and the huge impact you make on patient care at MSH.
Please send your special gift today. Your support will ensure all our family members, friends and neighbours can continue to count on
MSH when they’re sick or injured. It will make hope and healing possible right here in our community.
P.S. Thanks to the amazing care I received, I’m doing great and there’s no evidence of cancer in my body.
Today, I hope you’ll take this opportunity to help other patients at MSH by sending your gift in support of lifesaving equipment and technology. Thank you.