Rory, this year’s president of the UBCCA, shared some thoughts on how cancer has affected his life.

 “Journey is a hard word because it’s such a struggle against something so massive. Watching him push through it and then come   back smiling and playing football and basketball again was wild. It really put a good perspective on my own life. You know; find   something you love and do it regardless of what’s pushing you back. Watching him go through that changed me for
 the better. By grade 12, he was doing pretty well fine, at the beginning. Things took a turn for the worst and he was doing everything he could to lessen the effects. Right when I left for UBC was when things took a downward turn. He had to stay at home when he wanted to go to college. Then he spent the latter half of the year in the hospital. It was hard being at school, away from him, and away from all the friends we had made as a group. Finding the UBC Cancer Association was a big part of finding what could get me through the struggle for myself; the guilt of goofing around in university while someone was on such a rough boat. Being around the other club members really helped put me in a better headspace, just seeing other people dealing with it. Talking to survivors brought a more hopeful perspective for me. So working with the club and the people was something that helped me; in terms of keeping things together. That April, of my first year, my friend passed away. I think I was prepared, I had the right community. I could cope with it and respond in a way that I was comfortable with.”

“In terms of advice, I guess just be comfortable talking about it. The people you love are very receptive to your sensitivities. Even though it’s obvious, the people you love usually love you back. It was nice to feel the support that they gave me. Don’t be ashamed of feeling sad or crying.”

Stories for UBCCA is a photo series curated by the UBC Cancer Association which brings light to the many ways cancer has touched our lives.