For most, the teens early twenties are a time of discovery. A time where you try to figure out who you are and where you want to go with the rest of your life. But for Dylan Fournier, a St. Mary’s native, those years were hijacked by cancer.
Now, with the help of Access Cancer Therapies (ACT) Now and Dr. Stephen Welch of LHSC, Dylan’s life is no longer dictated by cancer.
In 2012, during his freshman year of high school, Dylan was diagnosed with colitis. The symptoms became so severe that he missed a lot of school and it interfered with his ability to…
Dennis' COVID-19 Journey
Dennis and his wife Patricia fell ill with COVID-19 following a turbulent eight weeks of caring for their hospitalized daughter in Toronto. Their daughter had major surgery and complications, and three weeks following her release, she tested positive for COVID-19.
Dennis and Patricia returned to London immediately to self-isolate and notified the Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU). Patricia developed a bad cough and shortness of breath, and was very tired for about a week, but she recovered swiftly. Dennis, on the other hand, had a slight cough that quickly escalated into…
Brenda Thorne is a loving mother, wife, and grandmother. In 2015, Brenda almost lost her life to multiple organ failure. Thanks to the incredible doctors and staff at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) she survived and is back where she belongs – with her family.
For years Brenda had experienced significant fatigue, but she attributed it to her busy lifestyle – teaching, being an organist, as well as the demands that come with motherhood. In 2012, Brenda had developed digestive issues, and with her continued fatigue Brenda decided to seek medical advice. Through testing in…
A chance visit to the Emergency Department (ED) led to life-changing news for patient Candace Miller.
In September of 2019, Candace woke up in the middle of the night with a very strange and concerning feeling on the right side of her head. Her husband took her to the ED at London Health Sciences Centre’s Victoria Hospital.
At first, the ED doctors and nurses suspected a stroke. They performed a CT angiogram to check her blood vessels for blockages and referred her to a neurologist at the Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) clinic.
No signs of stroke showed on…
In 2000, Ev McDowell was diagnosed with a rare type of blood cancer called multiple myeloma. This is a cancer of the plasma cells, a type of white blood cell that makes antibodies. Multiple myeloma causes abnormal plasma cells to multiply uncontrollably in the bone marrow and “crowd out” other types of cells that our body needs to be healthy.
At the time of Ev’s diagnosis, the life expectancy for patients with this disease was only three to five years. Today, thanks to the team at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), Ev has been in remission for almost 19 years.
Lynn Danby was enjoying retirement life with her husband of 40 years and her grandchildren when a chronic runny nose prompted a visit to her doctor.
It was the fall of 2013 when Lynn noticed that her nose had been running a lot, she assumed it was nothing serious but thought it was best to mention it to her doctor and see if there was anything they could recommend for her. Her doctor recognized that this wasn’t just a common cold, and ordered a scan for Lynn. The result that came back shocked Lynn - cancer. A sinus tumour. Lynn’s doctor said that if they had found the…
Fellowships train the next generation of cancer specialists
With new discoveries made in health care every day, the practice of medicine is constantly evolving. It is therefore essential that physicians continue to hone and refine their skills long after receiving their MDs.
At the London Regional Cancer Program (LRCP), fellowships give physicians the opportunity to become experts in a specific area of cancer care. Fellowship training may involve both clinical and research activities. Donor support provided the necessary funding for the following fellowships:
UROLOGIC ONCOLOGY FELLOWSHIP
The prestigious Urologic…
Port Elgin’s Jody Mahon has a strong reason to advocate for clinical trials.
“If I hadn’t participated in the COMET trial, I don’t think I would be here today,” she says.
COMET is an international clinical trial, led here in London by Dr. David Palma and partially funded by generous donors, which tests stereotactic radiation – high-dose radiation targeted to specific spots – in patients who have had cancer spread to other areas of the body. This was unfortunately the case for Jody, who has been battling metastatic breast cancer since 2012.
Sidney Robertson knows what it is to struggle with mental health. She also knows the power of sharing her story with others.
One October day during her grade 11 year, a vicious act of domestic violence left Sidney and her family reeling with shock, confusion, and long-lasting mental trauma. With events unfolding at such a rapid pace, Sidney didn’t immediately recognize the impact her situation was having on her. Between speaking with authorities and visiting the hospital, Sidney did her best to remain involved in school and her community. At the time, those came as…
When Beth French of Kincardine, Ontario became pregnant again; she knew she needed the support of the high-risk maternal fetal medicine team at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).
At 24 weeks into her first pregnancy, Beth developed severe complications. Tragically, her daughter was stillborn.
Though reeling from the loss, Beth and her husband Glen felt incredibly grateful for the care they received. Beth left the hospital clutching a memory box close to her chest, which had been caringly created by LHSC staff and volunteers.
In the spring of 2018, Beth was…
Maria Curcio says she remembers the exact moment she was told she had ovarian cancer. Or rather, she remembers not remembering anything. The world around her went blank. As a healthy 46-year-old with no family history of cancer, Maria had difficulty wrapping her head around the diagnosis. The shock was palpable.
Born and raised in London, Ontario, Maria enjoys a career as a technical writer, breaking down and translating information. And…
Chad Gibbons was just 21 years old when he experienced kidney failure, and had to be put on the transplant list.
In the winter of 1999, Chad began experiencing extreme fatigue, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, and trouble sleeping. His family doctor referred him to a kidney specialist in Windsor, Chad’s hometown, who confirmed that Chad’s kidney was failing. This was especially concerning because Chad was born with only one kidney.
He remembers how he felt after receiving his diagnosis: “At first it was nice to have an explanation of what was happening to…
Don Brough's Story
Five years ago, Don Brough’s medical journey took a dramatic turn. After undergoing a routine check for prostate cancer based on his family’s history, Don’s results came back indicating he had also developed the disease. Immediately, his physician in Owen Sound referred him to London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) for evaluation and treatment.
"I was amazed at how quickly my situation was addressed by everyone in our regional health care system,” Don says. “These people are very caring and professional…
Melissa Selmes was a 31-year-old new mother when she was diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer. Originally given just one year to live, Melissa and her medical team at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) have fought to get her to where she is now – cancer free.
Melissa’s story began in 2010 when she was pregnant with her daughter. As her daughter grew inside of her, so did an ovarian cyst. When the time came for Melissa to have her C-section, the cyst had grown to an 18-lb tumour. Her doctors removed the tumour, along with her right ovary. The tumour was tested, and…
Neil Tull's Story
Sometimes an illness will reveal itself in dramatic fashion. Pain or discomfort might bring someone to their family doctor, leading to a diagnosis. Other times it can come with a whisper—like a secret the body is itching to tell. This was how Neil Tull learned of his cancer.
For 25 years, Neil enjoyed a career as Executive Vice President of Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital (TDMH). After retiring in 1996, he and his wife, Betty, bought a farm nestled between Tillsonburg and Aylmer. Over the years, he developed a passion for horseback riding and began entering reined cow…
Third-year mechanical engineering student, Adam Keller, had many hopes and dreams for his future. Surrounded by friends, a loving family, and a passion for design work, his life was turned upside down on his 21st birthday. “There was quite a while where I had a lump on my neck, but I didn’t think anything of it because it was not painful,” Adam recalls.
It wasn’t until Adam started experiencing back pain that kept him up at night which motivated him to book an appointment with his doctor. His doctor performed a series of tests and ordered a biopsy for the lump on Adam’s neck. For…
Cameron Smith's Story
Cameron Smith played football for years, in excruciating pain and limited hip mobility - little did he know, he had an undiagnosed condition known as hip impingement, resulting in torn cartilage. But luckily, last year, he went to Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic for help.
Now, six months after his second surgery, Cameron is happy to say he’s going to play as an offensive lineman for St. Francis Xavier, without the pain he’d lived with for as long as he could remember. “I couldn’t be happier with my treatment and two surgeries done at Fowler Kennedy. Every day I felt…
A Helping Hand in the Darkest Hour
Words can’t quite describe the impact of the Mental Health Patient Assistance Fund, which is 100 per cent donor funded. For those on the receiving end, this fund can be life-saving.
Jake was already a patient of LHSC’s Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychoses (PEPP) when he came home from a group session to find his mother had died by suicide in the apartment they shared together. Reeling, he immediately called PEPP. Not only did the program provide psychological and emotional support during this unbelievably traumatic time, but also financial support through…
Andy Lam's Story
On the evening of September 4, 2019, Andy Lam experienced the worst headache of his life. He went to bed and woke up the next morning in even more pain. Luckily, he managed to call 911 for help before he passed out, and the paramedics arrived just in time.
Andy, who works in the CoreLab at London Health Science Centre (LHSC), suffered from a ruptured brain aneurysm. A brain aneurysm is a bulge in the wall of an artery found in a person’s brain. Aneurysms can grow large and rupture, releasing blood into the space around the brain. This bleed can be…
Dr. Tracy Sexton & Linda Kuska
Linda Kuska and Tracy Sexton have a few things in common: they are both mothers, they work in health care, and they are both breast cancer survivors. For the last five years, Linda and Tracy have been sitting beside each other for four hours every week as paddling partners on the Rowbust dragon boat rowing team and have become close friends.
In May of 1999, Linda Kuska was working as a registered nurse at LHSC’s former South Street Hospital. She was a young mother with no family history of breast cancer, and yet she noticed a small lump in her breast. After further…
Paying Forward the Kindness of Strangers
Sometimes the smallest gesture can have the greatest impact. For Carol Weekes Schacter, it was a brief moment five years ago at LHSC’s London Regional Cancer Program (LRCP).
Carol’s sister Judy was undergoing treatment for an aggressive brain tumour known as a glioblastoma and had her head shaved for brain surgery. Carol wanted to get her sister a nice wig, but knew Judy would prefer to pay for it herself; however, Judy was experiencing some financial challenges. Carol explained her sister’s situation to a volunteer at LRCP as she was perusing the wig selection. At the same…
Six years ago, Emily Marshall began noticing a pain in her right arm. An avid rugby player with a black belt in Taekwondo, she was familiar with muscle aches and sprains—this was different. X-Rays came back inconclusive. Physiotherapy didn’t seem to help, either.
“All my friends started to notice how I had this arm that was sore all the time,” Emily says. “I was dropping things and losing function in it.”
Eventually, the pain grew unbearable and she found herself in the Emergency Department at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC). She was in tears not only…
The Baker Centre for Pancreatic Cancer
In June 2019, Londoner Rick Baker and some of his family members were cycling one of the toughest summits in France: Mont Ventoux. This 2,000 metre-high grind to the blustery peak has been considered one of the most gruelling sections of past Tours de France. When 55-year-old Rick reached the halfway mark, he doubted his ability to finish – each push depleting what little energy he had.
Rick was three and a half years into a stage IV pancreatic cancer diagnosis, and on a heavy combination of active chemotherapy.
Fowler Kennedy gets varsity soccer player game ready
When a knee injury almost ended Tiffany’s varsity soccer career, the team at Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic (FKSMC) created a care plan to get her back to where she belongs.
Before she came to London for university, Tiffany tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) – one of the key ligaments that help stabilize the knee joint – and received reconstruction surgery in Toronto. But Tiffany was still in pain while playing for Western University’s varsity soccer team.
“I had recovered from my first surgery already, but my range of motion was awful,” Tiffany says…
Murray Jones remembers his first experience at the Hospital after moving to London with his wife. In 1977 they started their family and only a few years later, their young son was hospitalized after suffering a broken leg.
“My son fell off a climber and broke his femur when was only three years old. I stayed at the hospital every night for the first few weeks to comfort him. They put him in a cast from chest to toes,” he recalls. “He's 35 years old now and can't remember which leg it was!”
This was far from the last time Murray would spend at the hospital. And…