Docs for Cancer

I am getting my head shaved, for a good cause!

Debbie Bullman from Hair Palace and Colleen Wilson from the Canadian Cancer Society are going to help me do this on Friday May 30th, 2003 at the Kin Coulee Park. In conjunction with the Relay for Life event. And we may have other doctors join in.

We are calling this Docs for Cancer, similar to Cops for Cancer fundraisers to beat cancer.

Cancer patients undergo many events in their lives � from their first visit to their doctor when they don�t even know if they have cancer to treatment and recovery. Many of these events are physically and emotionally painful.

The standard treatment for cancer consists of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Not all patients require radiation therapy or chemotherapy. But fair numbers do.

Those who do not respond to the standard treatment are given a choice of other methods of treatment � many of those treatments are experimental and their outcome is unpredictable.

Every treatment has likely complications. One complication which is quite common is hair loss.

So, Cops for Cancer and now Docs for Cancer are events to express empathy for cancer patients.

Over the years, I have looked after many cancer patients. They have been young and they have been old. And they have come from all walks of life. There is hardly a family which has not been affected by cancer.

And I am no exception. In 1996, my sister Gulshan was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She died within four months. She had just turned 60. She was beginning to plan her life into retirement and worldly travel with her husband when she was told to make plans for the last journey.

In 1971, she had come to Canada as a refugee from Uganda. She had six children (triplets were one year old). She lived in Quebec for a year or two then moved to Vancouver. After doing few odd jobs, Gulshan and her husband opened a business. They worked very hard to raise six children. Just when they thought that their parental duties where almost done � it was time for Gulshan to say goodbye to her family, her retirement and her worldly travel plans.

That is how cancer is. And that is how life is. Life isn�t getting any better. There is danger everywhere. We do not know what is going to kill us � heart disease, cancer, motor vehicle accident, a bomb at an unlikely place, a sadistic sniper or a kidnapper, a virus (SARS), a mosquito (West Nile), floods, tornado, or blizzard?

But we can look at the positive side of life too. There so many things in life we can be thankful for. Life has to be kept in proper perspective. And we have to take care of the people who have had the misfortune to be worse off than we are.

What events like Relay for Life, Cops for Cancer, and Docs for Cancer do is to make us appreciate what life is all about � celebration, happiness and caring. And there are many unsung heroes who make a significant contribution in society to make others feel better.

So, for me the most embarrassing question is: Is my hair worth anything? Would you like to see your face on my shiny bald head? No, is not the answer because I need your donation for the Cancer Society!

So, phone in your pledges to my office (527-0099) or to Hair Palace (527-4433) or to Cancer Society (528-2125). And be at the Kin Coulee Park to have fun.

Click here to view photos taken at the event.

Start reading the preview of my book A Doctor's Journey for free on Amazon. Available on Kindle for $2.99!

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