Derek Strokon and Steve Passmore are two of the men behind a move to introduce a new angle to cancer treatment in Kamloops through a foundation called Give Cancer the Finger.
The goal of the foundation is to add a new level to cancer treatment in Kamloops with a cancer supportive care centre.
“Upon diagnosis of your cancer, you go to the cancer
supportive care centre,” Strokon said. “What happens at the cancer supportive care centre is you’re introduced to a navigator.”
That navigator, he explained, is there to help you better understand everything that comes with the cancer diagnosis.
“The navigator, essentially, is there to help you understand what your diagnosis is, what medications you’re on, what your treatment prognosis is,” Stroken said.
“How often do you need to go to Kelowna on the cancer bus? How often do you need to be here for this? What are the side effects that you should expect after treatment? During treatment? And then what are we going to do to get you better?”
The foundation’s rather blunt name is a tongue-in-cheek nod to prostate cancer, but the aim of the foundation, and the care centre, is to work with patients with all types of cancer.
The first step in getting the care centre off the ground is to present to Interior Health the existing cost of current cancer patient survivors presenting themselves at the emergency room in Royal Inland Hospital.
The hope is that if the study shows financial benefits for the existence of a supportive care centre, the foundation would move ahead with a fundraising event to raise the estimated $1 million needed to need to build the centre.
Organizers are looking at pursuing a smaller-scale pilot project to help illustrate the feasibility of a centre.
Passmore noted there are a number of hurdles that must be overcome by the time the centre becomes a reality and said the foundation is welcoming people who wish to help in the weeks and months to come.
“Right now, it’s assembling blocks, but when we are ready, yeah, we’re going to need an army,” he said.
The project evolved out of Strokon and Passmore’s past involvement with local Movember fundraisers.
For last year’s efforts, instead of growing the traditional Movember moustache, they had moustaches shaved into the backs of their heads, with funds raised going to cancer research.
Those interested in reaching out to offer support and assistance can do so at Give Cancer the Finger’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/.GiveCancerTheFingerKamloops/.