Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation was founded in Toronto in 1992 by Anne Armstrong Gibson, who had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 1988. 

In September of 2022, Wellspring Calgary and Wellspring Edmonton joined forces to become Wellspring Alberta, a strong and unified provincial charity that offers programs and services at no charge and without referral, to anyone with any type of cancer, and their families.

Given the shared mission and mandate of these organizations, and their connection to the Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation, the union was a natural fit and a logical way to strengthen resources, capitalize on efficiencies, and band together to provide vital services to those living with cancer throughout all of Alberta.

The merger was months in the planning and implemented after extensive analysis, collaborations, and committee work to ensure seamless integration of the three Wellspring centres in Calgary and Edmonton, as well as the thriving online Wellspring community so that no one living in Alberta has to face cancer alone.


Key Dates

Co-founders John Stephure, Rita Egizii, and Barbara Cunnings came together with a shared cancer experience to create Wellspring Calgary, receiving charitable status.
Wellspring Calgary commenced operations in leased space in Parkdale.
Future Wellspring Edmonton co-founders Drs Marilyn and Glenn Hundleby, travelled to Calgary to meet with John Stephure, who showed them the site of Wellspring Calgary’s new home Carma House.
Drs Marilyn and Glenn Hundleby commenced the process of establishing a Wellspring facility in Edmonton.
Carma House opens in Calgary after being generously built and donated by Carma Developers (now Brookfield Residential). Wellspring Calgary lost friend and co-founder John Stephure to cancer.
Wellspring Edmonton was granted charitable status.
Wellspring Calgary reached their $6 million endowment goal thanks to 17+ community donors.
Wellspring Edmonton launched a campaign to raise funds for the construction of a permanent centre and provide operating expenses for the first two years.
A groundbreaking ceremony is held in Edmonton at the planned site of their new centre.
A south pilot show home project was opened in Calgary, thanks to Cedarglen Homes.
Wellspring Edmonton reached their $7 million endowment goal with the support of donors, and construction of the centre began.
A temporary space at Fountain Court in SE Calgary is opened to expand programs to those living in south Calgary.
Business owner Randy O’Dell provided a $4 million gift to name a new permanent location in south Calgary.
Wellspring Edmonton’s centre is completed and ready for occupancy.
Wellspring Calgary launched a campaign with the goal to raise $12.9 million for the construction of Randy O’Dell House, member services and program delivery, and to increase the current sustainability fund.
Wellspring Edmonton officially opened its doors at what is now known as Edmonton House.
Randy O’Dell House opened in Calgary after the campaign exceeded its goal, raising $13.2 million from generous donors.
Both Wellspring Calgary and Edmonton launch online programs, expanding cancer support to communities throughout Alberta.
Wellspring Edmonton and Wellspring Calgary join forces as Wellspring Alberta – one Wellspring for all Albertans.

History of Wellspring Calgary

In 1999, a Globe and Mail article about Toronto-based Wellspring inspired cancer survivor and Calgary businessman John Stephure to open a support centre for cancer patients and their families in Calgary. He was joined by cancer survivors Rita Egizii and Barbara Cunnings who shared John’s vision and together they co-founded Wellspring Calgary.

They formed a Board, legally incorporated, and received charitable status in 2006. Wellspring Calgary launched programs in a rented space in 2007 after raising two years of operating capital and affiliating with the Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation. In 2009, the organization moved into its first centre, Carma House, gifted and built by Carma Developers, now Brookfield Residential Properties. Sadly, after a short recurrence of the cancer he had fought for 11 years, co-founder John Stephure passed away on June 28, 2009. 

In October of 2019, Wellspring Calgary opened its second Calgary home, Randy O’Dell House in Seton, offering the space and capacity to serve and support more Albertans with cancer across southern Alberta.

History of Wellspring Edmonton

The idea for a Wellspring in Edmonton was formed in 2008 when Drs. Glenn and Marilyn Hundleby from Edmonton toured the construction of Wellspring Calgary’s Carma House, and recognized the need for a cancer support organization in northern Alberta. Over the next several years, with extensive research and planning, their dream took shape. Joined by Solomon Rolingher, Q.C., and John Webster, an architect at Stantec, the project was named Wellspring Edmonton and land was secured for development. They formed a founding Board and a Healthcare Advisory Council to engage local healthcare professionals and provide expertise and collaboration for the centre.

Wellspring Edmonton was legally incorporated and granted charitable status in 2010. The newly formed Board of Directors initiated a capital campaign, raising $7 million for the construction of the building. Wellspring Edmonton was a result of the generosity of hundreds of businesses and professionals, donors, and volunteers. The centre opened its doors and formally launched programs in 2017. 

Forward as One

Today, Wellspring Alberta serve thousands of Albertans, offering people living with cancer – those diagnosed, caregivers and kids, free access to a wide variety of evidence-informed programs and services across the province.

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