In May 2008, after a year of going to the doctor for what I thought was asthma, I was told that I had a tumor the size of a grapefruit in the middle of my chest as well as numerous other tumors in lymph nodes around my body. This came as a complete surprise since I was a physically fit outdoor adventure guide and the news instantly altered the course of my life.
I soon realized that although cancer might not kill me physically, it could potentially destroy me emotionally and spiritually if I let the bitterness that I felt for having to deal with cancer at 25 take hold of my heart. In order to heal emotionally I knew that I had to find purpose in my suffering and gradually I began to figure out a way to use my skills and abilities to better the lives of young adult survivor peers. A year and three months later, after undergoing six months of chemotherapy, one and a half months of radiation treatments, and after countless hours of dreaming and organizing, my wife and I took seven other young adult cancer survivors from across Canada on the journey of a lifetime down the remote Owyhee River in SE Oregon with the goal of raising awareness of the specific issues and challenges facing young adults with cancer.
The result of that first Survive & Thrive Expedition was an amazing documentary film Wrong Way to Hope: An Inspiring Story of Young Adults and Cancer. The Canadian premiere of the film will take place on October 12-13, 2010 (Doors 6:30pm, Film 7pm) at The Uptown theatre in Calgary in conjunction with the official opening of Young Adult Cancer Canada’s Calgary office. Many local celebrities, businessmen, health care professionals, cancer advocates and young adult survivors in attendance for what will be a very emotional and memorable evening.
If you would like to watch the trailer for the film please visit www.wrongwaytohope.com.