Thanks to years of donor-funded cancer research, when Ted was diagnosed with a rare form of tongue cancer his doctors knew just what to do.
Five years ago, after a routine dental appointment, Ted received the frightening news that he had cancer. His dentist had noticed a growth on the underside of Ted’s tongue, prompting him to recommend that Ted follow up with his doctor. After many appointments with different specialists, a biopsy determined that the growth was cancerous, and Ted was diagnosed with a rare form of tongue cancer.
Ted appreciated the quick and unified response from his medical team. “My entire experience was seamless; it was an interdisciplinary response. From beginning to end I saw their commitment to patient experience.”
The first step in his treatment plan would be surgery. “When I met with my doctor and he outlined what the surgery entailed, I became very concerned.”
In order to save his life, up to a third of Ted’s tongue would be removed.
Such a surgery would likely impact Ted’s speech for the rest of his life. As a superintendent at the Pembina Trails school division, public speaking was a vital part of Ted’s job.
So many thoughts were rushing through his head – would he be able to speak afterwards or have to learn all over again? What would board meetings, speaking with students, parents and teachers look like, even after a ‘successful’ surgery?
“Speaking was such an integral part of my work and my life. I was very concerned,” said Ted. When I asked my doctor what was going to happen, he wisely responded: “let’s worry about living first and speaking second.”
Thanks to the investment of donors like you, Ted was under excellent care and the surgery was a success. In fact, the surgery had been so precise that all of the cancerous cells were removed without permanently affecting his speech. For this, Ted is eternally grateful.
Today, after a successful return to work, Ted is enjoying his retirement and is committed to paying it forward. Since 2020 Ted has been a participant in the Foundation’s annual Challenge for Life fundraising event, doing what he can to ensure others like him continue to receive the very best care, right here in Manitoba.