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Year-end giving just in time for Christmas

With just days until Christmas, you may find yourself rushing to get everything ready. Remember to slow down and remind yourself of the things that are truly important to you… and consider making a gift to help those facing cancer.

Here is Tina and Don’s story, showing how your gift will help today and well into the New Year…

Earlier this year I was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer, which devastated all our lives. Straightaway, our son moved back to Edmonton from Saskatchewan and my husband Don decided to retire from the military to care for me. From day one, Don was there: taking me to have fluid drained from my abdomen, accompanying me to every appointment, and also dealing with the everyday household tasks. I tried to think about being strong and that I just needed to make some changes in my life. But then I would look in the mirror and tears would start running down my cheeks. All I could think about was: “Am I going to die?”

Even though I have always thought of myself as strong, I felt intense fear. I was fearful as I watched Tina go through a multitude of tests, major surgery and then chemo treatment. And there was always the unspoken fear that I couldn’t stop thinking, “My wife could die.”

Tina and Don
We both knew we had to find help with all of these emotions. We looked for someone who understood and had actually dealt with what we were going through. A good friend suggested we visit Wellspring to see what they offered.

As we walked through the doors at Wellspring Edmonton, we immediately felt the positive atmosphere, the energy and warm environment. The two people at the front desk both introduced themselves as volunteers. Peer support is one of the programs at Wellspring that helped us a lot. A trained volunteer, who had experienced cancer herself, helped us navigate the various programs and resources available so we could find a program that suited our circumstances and interests. There is no question, these volunteers have been there and “walked the walk”. Before we left Wellspring, we registered together for an eight week, evidenced based program called Mindful Self Compassion.

I was really impressed that my husband would come with me, as I was aware Don was silently suffering – we were both scared for the future. The programs at Wellspring Edmonton definitely brought us closer as a couple, and also taught us to be more mindful of our thoughts and emotions. I find when I begin ruminating on unhelpful thoughts or frustrations I now say to myself, “just park it”. While we both occasionally still become caught up in unhelpful thinking, we have learned skills and strategies to shift our thinking.

Who could have imagined that through having cancer and being introduced to Mindful Self Compassion I would come to appreciate how much my friends and co-workers cared for me – people who brought hot home-made meals for us and helped us in so many ways. The program taught us how to solve problems, to let go of old unhelpful patterns and try new, more constructive ways of coping. Yes, this program was amazing: it’s already made a big difference in our lives.

It is sometimes difficult for us men to participate in these programs. Tina’s cancer diagnosis however, made me realize how precious life is and that my partner in life is my best friend. I can’t express the relief I now feel – as Tina and I were able to face this challenge by tackling it together, and in such a meaningful way.

Wellspring Edmonton programs are accessible to everyone facing cancer and are offered to patients and families at no cost. That said, the programs and services do come with a cost. With no government funding, we are so grateful to people like you for your incredible generosity.

During this holiday season, we invite you along with your friends and family to Pay It Forward – please consider a donation to help people like Tina and Don. And please share our stories so that other patients and families can benefit from the more than 40 Wellspring programs.


Click here to make your donation online.


Call in your donation to 780.758.4433 or

Mail/drop off your donation to Wellspring Edmonton (11306 65 Ave NW Edmonton, AB T6H 2Z8).

Wellspring Edmonton is making a difference in people’s lives. Together, with your support we can make sure this continues.