This month of May, like every month of May we at Bladder Cancer Canada work hard to raise awareness about this disease.

I was diagnosed with bladder cancer in early 2014 with surgery to remove two tumours via a TURBT, followed by treatments with BCG.  Luckily for me I got it early and my last check up via cystoscopy in 2020 proved to be “all clear” once again. The best words you can hear from your urologist on an annual check up are “All clear…see you in a year”.

In much of our literature and resources we produce, we speak to the critical need to catch bladder cancer early. The earlier detected, the more likelihood of catching it, dealing with it, saving your bladder or preserving your bladder and or taking the appropriate surgical procedures to remove the bladder and stop the spread. There have also been terrific strides made in research to also deal with metastatic bladder cancers and arrest this beast.

When I discovered by bladder cancer I did not know where to turn. I reached out via BCAN in the US through their Inspire network and dialogue. Fortunately for me, moderators in the Inspire network referred me to Jack Moon in Canada. Jack is one of the co-founders of Bladder Cancer Canada. He, along with David Guttman, founded the organization eleven years ago. As patients, at that time, there was no support network to turn to. Thus, they saw the need and rose the occasion of creating a national organization in Canada to support the patient community.

From those early days and the first volunteers, Bladder Cancer Canada has grown to be a national network of volunteers and staff with a clear mission and mandate to support patients, raise awareness and fund research.

Both Jack and David have stayed active. They continue to be in dialogue with patients, assisting them along their path and journey with bladder cancer.

I have been fortunate enough to be a volunteer and current Board Chair of Bladder Cancer Canada. My term will come to an end in December. It was been a truly rewarding experience to serve this organization and the bladder cancer community in Canada and around the world. We are now part of the World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition and we are raising awareness and assisting with start up organizations to support patients and their families around the world. In fact a past Chair of Bladder Cancer Canada, Ken Bagshaw, is the current President. Former ED at Bladder Cancer Canada, Tammy Northam, played a critical role in the early days of establishing the world coalition.

In essence it comes down to people getting involved and giving  back to their community. We at Bladder Cancer Canada are only as strong as the network of volunteers, donors and partners that we can bring together across Canada.

I hope that as this month of May #bladdercanceraware wraps up that we have attracted more to our community. If you are reading this and wondering how to connect. It is as simple as clicking on Bladder Cancer Canada right here and joining our efforts and cause. Help us help others on their bladder cancer journey.

Be well!