Maha Alchalabi’s Story
As a nephrologist in Iraq, Maha Alchalabi was a kidney specialist who came to Canada in 2014 seeking peace and wanting to practice medicine in this country. But during a visit to her family doctor three years after arriving here, the 54-year-old discovered a problem with her own kidneys. It was cancer, a diagnosis that in her mind presented no clear treatment options until her own research led to an interventional radiologist at Royal Columbian Hospital.
Rose Donovan’s Story
Rose Donovan had not been feeling well for weeks. The 52-year-old Maple Ridge woman was dealing with headaches, nausea, hot flashes, and then a pain on her upper right side. She suspected stress as the cause, but her family doctor sent her for a gallbladder ultrasound. The test result was blindsiding – there was a golf ball-sized mass on her pancreas.
John Brugman’s Story
John Brugman had been managing symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease for two decades when doctors discovered a mass in part of his colon. Surgery was scheduled at Royal Columbian Hospital, but the mass proved only to be the beginning of a months-long health nightmare that included blood clots, an emergency operation, cardiac arrest and cancer.
Gladys Robinson’s Story
85-year old Gladys Robinson had been fiercely independent, enjoying life in her small cabin by a lake north of Edmonton. She still shovelled her own walk, brought in firewood for her wood-burning Franklin stove and drove her car into town to get groceries. But as she visited her family in the Lower Mainland over the Christmas season, Gladys suddenly found herself in Royal Columbian Hospital with a stunning diagnosis: terminal lung cancer. In the days that followed, as all her loved ones visited and the hospital offered palliative care, one thought kept coming back to Gladys – “this is perfect.”
Sam Stewart’s Story
Jane Stewart was getting increasingly concerned. Her once-active 10-year old son Sam had developed a limp and was suffering from a sharp leg pain that was getting progressively worse as the months wore on. The pain hindered Sam’s ability to play soccer or even enjoy a good night’s sleep. It wasn’t until the family met a specialist at Royal Columbian Hospital that they finally found answers and an eventual solution.