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2023 Gratitude Report

Our vision is to ensure no one faces cancer alone, across the province. Thank you for your commitment to helping others. Albertans are grateful for your support.

Our Mission

Strength through unity: empowering Alberta’s cancer community

As we emerged from the shadows of a global pandemic, we have discovered the extraordinary power of unity and resilience. The union of Wellspring Calgary and Wellspring Edmonton in September 2022 has fortified us, enabling us to stand side by side with the people of Alberta facing cancer. Together, as Wellspring Alberta, we serve as a beacon of hope and strength for individuals and families across the province.

Essential support for cancer patients

Recognizing that cancer presents multifaceted challenges extending beyond medical treatment, we have been bridging the gaps in cancer care providing complementary support across the province. At Wellspring, we address the emotional, social, and practical needs of those affected by this disease, ensuring that no one faces the journey alone. Through collaborations with healthcare partners, we play a vital role in enhancing quality of life and overall well-being during and beyond cancer.

Over the past year, remarkable milestones have been achieved. Our groundbreaking research study, focused on understanding the impact of our programs on members’ quality of life, marks a significant step forward. By delving into how our members engage with our services and the various factors influencing their preferences, we aim to refine and personalize our offerings. The study’s outcomes, set to be published in 2024, will shape the future of our programs and services.

As a provincial organization, our dedication to expanding cancer support across Alberta remains unwavering. We are particularly focused on reaching regional and remote areas, ensuring accessible assistance for all. Through our Community Connector volunteer team, we forge local relationships, raise awareness of available resources, and bring cancer support closer to home.

Your commitment

The outpouring of support we have received fills us with profound gratitude. To the nearly 1,000 Albertans who responded to our year-end appeal during a time of increased need, we extend heartfelt thanks. Your generosity has made this campaign an extraordinary achievement, enabling us to provide essential services to those who need them most. Your unwavering commitment embodies the strength and compassion that define our community.

As the demand for our programs and services continues to grow, we remain resolute in our commitment to providing a safe and enriching community for Albertans facing cancer and their families. This commitment is made possible by the steadfast support of our loyal friends and donors.

Thank you for being an integral part of the Wellspring Alberta community.


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Bill Gilliland, Chair

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Natalie Noble, CEO

Our Vision:
No one has to face cancer alone.

As a Wellspring volunteer, I get to help build and share in a vital community space. I’m very grateful to Wellspring for the training, resources, and support they provide us as volunteers. I’ve learned a lot during my time with Wellspring, and built relationships with staff and other volunteers, as well as the members.

Laurel Green

I received so many benefits from Wellspring, now I wanted to volunteer and help others who could use what Wellspring has to offer.

Ann Dowling

If you ask my why I care, it’s because every once in a while you find out that what you did actually made an impact. That’s why I’m passionate about volunteering for Wellspring, you get the feeling that you are appreciated, and what you are doing makes an impact.

Brett Martin
Community Connector

Wellspring has been so important to me throughout this cancer odyssey – I simply would not be doing so well without the programs, compassion, and genuine kindness of this community.

Kate Bilson
Wellspring member

At Wellspring there is no pressure and nobody judging you. You are just free to be yourself and to work at your own pace. Art is my favourite. I love spending my time there drawing, painting, creating a collage. In art classes… I can lose myself in it.

Sarbjit Jawandha
Wellspring Member

Wellspring helped me turn my life around. Right away I got the sense that I’m not alone. After cancer, your life is changed forever, but now I was around others who knew what it felt like and that helped.

Andrew Del Frari
Wellspring Member
Walking into the centre we were immediately received with such kindness and respect. I really appreciated this. I have very much enjoyed all of the programs I have taken at Wellspring, but music is especially therapeutic for me.
Richard Armand
Wellspring Member

2023 Highlights

Our Programs were
Accessed Over


times in 2023



volunteer hours



program leaders, 
5-6 days a week

In our 2022 Mission Survey, Wellspring Alberta participants agreed or strongly agreed that they:


agreed that Wellspring increased their emotional well-being (based on 632 respondents)


agreed that Wellspring increased their emotional well-being (based on 632 respondents)


agreed that Wellspring increased their emotional well-being (based on 632 respondents)


agreed that Wellspring increased their emotional well-being (based on 632 respondents)

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Sarbjit Jawandha, a driven PhD graduate and teacher, faced a life-altering experience when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at 48. Determined to stay positive, Sarbjit sought support from Wellspring, a community that became her lifeline during her path to recovery.

“Even in the worst journey in your life you have to find the best part, and for me the best part of having cancer is Wellspring,” she said.

Finance Report

Inspiring Acts of Giving


individuals stepped up to become our Match Champions – matching donations during the year-end campaign.


gifts were donated during the year-end campaign to help up reach our goal!


monthly donors gave to support our mission with an average monthly gift of $37.70.

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“You really do feel like you are a part of one big family there. You get a coffee or tea and sit down and talk with others. If you’re walking around with no hair – no problem. You feel like you are with your soul sisters and brothers and you know you are so much more than your cancer.” – Lillas Hatala

2023 Milestones

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Expanding reach across Alberta: meet Brett

Wellspring’s Community Connectors are compassionate volunteers who have personally encountered cancer or provided care for someone affected by it. They proudly represent Wellspring and serve as advocates within remote, rural, or Indigenous communities, fostering connections and support. “This network makes sense, as we believe that people who are local are the experts and have the best relationships within their own communities. They can help us understand the needs and determine how best Wellspring can serve the population there,” explained Rebecca Perkins, Wellspring’s Southern and Central Alberta Lead. The goal is to co-create cancer support communities throughout Alberta, with Community Connectors playing a vital role in reaching people across the province with the important message: if you have cancer, you have Wellspring.

Brett, diagnosed with multiple myeloma at age 60, defied doctors’ four-year life expectancy prognosis. With the support of his wife Linda, he navigated his challenging journey. Unaware of Wellspring at the time of diagnosis, Brett realized the lack of local cancer support in his community. Motivated by his personal experience, he became a Wellspring Community Connector, passionately raising awareness about the organization’s vital services. Brett’s dedication extends beyond advocacy as he innovatively created a digital display device for medical waiting rooms to showcase Wellspring’s offerings. 

Through his volunteer work with Wellspring, Brett finds a sense of appreciation and fulfillment, knowing he is making a meaningful impact on the lives of others in similar situations.

Your gift in 2022 helped to ensure no one faces cancer alone, across Alberta.

Community outreach milestones:

  • Wellspring Alberta has 11 Community Connectors residing in Whitecourt, Camrose, Red Deer, Redwood Meadows, Lethbridge, Blackie, Canmore, Nanton, and Medicine Hat.
  • Wellspring Alberta is supporting more people living with cancer, from more communities than ever before. In 2022, Wellspring Alberta served members who live in 90 communities throughout Alberta outside the cities of Calgary and Edmonton.
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Community Partnerships

Wellspring Alberta’s programs are implemented in collaboration with more than 50 partnerships and collaborations within the cancer care network, including organizations such as Alberta Health ServicesCancer Care Alberta (including the Tom Baker Cancer Centre and Cross Cancer Institute), and the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Wellspring Alberta aims to provide a compassionate community both in-person and online, ensuring that adults living with cancer, as well as their caregivers and family members, can access crucial information, valuable support, and effective coping strategies.

Wellspring Alberta plays an active role as the community partner on the Living Your Best With Advanced, Metastatic, Chronic or Non-curable Cancer Symposia Planning Committee.

This committee, consisting of representatives from Patient Education, Supportive Care, Cancer Care Alberta, and Wellspring Alberta, collaboratively develops informative videos covering various topics, including Living Well With Anxiety and Talking to Children and Teens about Advanced Illness. In response to the pandemic, we seized the opportunity to transition this event to an online platform, expanding its frequency to four times a year.

We also record these presentations, making them available for viewing on our Wellspring Alberta YouTube channel.

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Diversity and inclusion: meet Sanam

Sanam Zomorodi is a young professional engineer who brings a dynamic perspective to the Wellspring Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Roundtable. As an Iranian immigrant and a young adult cancer survivor, she has experienced exclusion and marginalization, with her cancer diagnosis being a defining moment of vulnerability.

Sanam’s family immigrated to Alberta in 1998, fleeing a repressive regime that discriminated against women. Growing up, she achieved a milestone as the first immigrant to deliver a valedictorian speech at her Red Deer high school. Pursuing her passion for engineering, she earned a master’s degree in resource and environmental management from Dalhousie University. However, her plans to become an environmental lawyer were sidelined when she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at 27.

Now five years in remission, Sanam is motivated to advocate for hospitalized cancer patients who lack access to community-based support like Wellspring. Joining the Wellspring DEI Roundtable Advisory Committee, she aims to amplify their voices and ensure they receive the vital assistance they need.

Sanam’s diverse background and personal journey drives her commitment to the committee, where she strives to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for individuals facing similar challenges. Through her participation, Sanam hopes to make a lasting impact on the lives of those who feel marginalized during their cancer journey.

In 2022, Wellspring’s DEI roundtable:

  • Completed the strategic road map that will drive Wellspring’s DEI work from 2023-2026
  • Grew to include more diverse voices from an expanded range of communities.

In 2023 we will continue to strengthen community ties and foster deeper relationships. We will broaden our connections and engage a more diverse range of volunteers, program leaders, and staff members. Additionally, we are committed to embedding DEI throughout Wellspring, addressing internal systems to ensure that DEI becomes an integral part of our organization’s foundation. Through these efforts, we strive to create a more inclusive and impactful Wellspring for all.

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When I first walked through the doors at Carma House and got that beautiful welcome, for me it felt like a warm blanket… From that moment on, it was nothing short of wonderful. Every program I took, every instructor, was exceptional. I don’t know how they do it, but Wellspring facilitators are the crème de la crème.” – Ann Dowling

Looking Forward

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In 2023, we will continue to expand Wellspring’s reach across Alberta, bringing in-person pilot programs to communities throughout the province. Cancer Connect, an informal coffee gathering for adults living with cancer and their caregivers, will be expanded into more rural communities. As pilot funding for community outreach winds down, our priority is to secure new funding and ensure the program’s sustainability for all Albertans.

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Cancervive is an annual cycling event that has been raising funds in support of Wellspring and those living with cancer since 2005. This year’s event will be a one-day scenic ride along the Bow Valley Parkway. Join us on September 9, 2023 for distances of 25km, 50km, 75km, or 110km, riding together through the spectacular Banff National Park. All riders are welcome, regardless of experience level or bike type. We ride in smaller groups to ensure inclusivity and align with Wellspring’s mission.

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Get ready for our annual matching campaign this November! Help us keep our programs and services free and accessible to all Albertans facing cancer. With your donations, we are able to offer an ever-expanding array of professionally-led programs and services to those facing cancer — reducing the burden on the healthcare system and preserving scarce healthcare resources.

Thank You!

The work of Wellspring is only possible because of the generosity of donors, partners, and volunteers.

Donate Today

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(ph) 1.866.682.3135

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