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I’d like to tell you about Troy Woods.

At 17, Troy was a young man who had everything going for him. He was an avid athlete and a star hockey player who spent a lot of time giving back to his community of Warren, Manitoba. In addition to coaching power skating and minor league soccer, he visited the elderly, helped out with community suppers, and tutored his fellow students. His grades were great, and he was looking forward to finishing his senior year of high school and going on to university.
Then he began to feel sick.

“I started getting really tired. We’d go on a field trip for school, and I’d have to sit down and rest,” Troy recalls.

“I went for a blood test, and my dad got the call to take me to the hospital. Cancer was the last thing on our minds. We were unbelievably shocked when the doctor told me I had ALL (acute lymphocytic leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow). We just sat there in silence, unable to say anything.”

Troy’s community instantly rallied around him, showering the teenager and his family with home-cooked meals, phone calls, cards and letters. Two senior men’s hockey teams from Warren and Stonewall held a charity tournament in his honour, raising nearly $14,000 for CancerCare Manitoba. Troy wanted the money to support clinical trials for other teenagers with ALL.

“Clinical trials save the lives of people like me, and I wanted other teenagers going through this to have that opportunity,” he says. “It did wonders to feel that I had the whole community behind me, but I knew not everyone would have that kind of support.”

Prior to 1970, less than 20 percent of children and adolescents with ALL survived. Research, especially clinical trials, has so dramatically improved the prognosis that now approximately 80 percent are cured. Every dollar you invest in CancerCare Manitoba’s cutting-edge research will help give people like Troy a future. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to provide this kind of extraordinary care.

Troy immediately began treatment at CancerCare Manitoba, undergoing many courses of chemotherapy and radiation in the fight to save his life.

Within only a few months, this vibrant young athlete no longer recognized himself when he looked in the mirror.

“The first year I struggled with lots of emotional stuff. I weighed 185 pounds before I got sick – suddenly I was 135 pounds. I lost all my hair. I didn’t look like myself. For a long time, I didn’t think I ever would again,” says Troy. “There were days I was so exhausted I didn’t want to go out in public or see anyone.”

I’m so happy to tell you that Troy recently celebrated his 20th birthday. He is now in his second year at the Asper School of Business. After three years, his cancer treatments will finally be finished in March 2013, and there are no limits to what this talented young man will achieve.

“I’ve gotten my strength back and I’m back playing hockey. I’m finally starting to feel like the old me again,” Troy says. “Every person who works at CancerCare Manitoba is incredibly special – they really care. They put the needs of their patients before themselves. There was never any doubt in my mind that I was going to get better.”

Because of your generous support, many young people have won their battle with cancer. You are helping us save lives.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider a gift to CancerCare Manitoba Foundation. We can only do our work because of the ongoing support we receive from people like you. Your generosity will help change the course of cancer in Manitoba.

Thank you for caring, and thank you for giving.

Sincerely,

 

Annitta Stenning
executive director, cancercare manitoba foundation

Give the gift of hope to a Manitoban with cancer. To make an online donation to CancerCare Manitoba Foundation's holiday campaign, please click the donate now button. All dollars stay in Manitoba, and every donation counts.

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P.S. Your donation supports CancerCare Manitoba’s incredible work in cancer research and patient care. Because of your compassion and your commitment, we will see many more success stories like Troy’s. Thank you!