Reporter raising funds following mom’s cancer diagnosis
Thursday, Mar 16, 2017 06:00 am
Moving two provinces away from your parents at age 18 to pursue a post-secondary education can be scary, but for Andrew Halipchuk, Airdrie City View sports reporter, getting a phone call from his mom eight years later saying she had cancer was terrifying.
“I got a text from her while I was working and it said, ‘Hey, can you call me right away.’ And whenever she says something like that I know something’s up, so I prepared myself for some bad news, but I wasn’t prepared for, ‘Andrew I have cancer,’” Halipchuk said. “That hit me hard.”
His 53-year-old mother Susan – who lives in Selkirk, Man. – was diagnosed with ovarian cancer Oct. 20, 2016 and although doctors said they caught it in its early stages, it quickly spread to her omentum. She had a hysterectomy in February and although she is not yet in remission with 18 more weeks of chemotherapy to go, surgeons believe they successfully removed all the cancer.
Halipchuk said the Canadian Cancer Society was able to help his mom and he now wants to give back by donating his long locks of hair and raising at least $1,500 for the organization.
“It’s always scary when you hear the word cancer but it’s not a death sentence anymore and that’s because the cancer society has made so many strides in these past 10 years,” he said. “That’s because people do go out and donate and contribute and raise funds any way they can, so hopefully we can continue that trend to hopefully put an end to cancer.”
He posted his goal on Facebook and raised $345 as of press time. He will be collecting donations until April 30 and is cutting his hair at The Hair Lounge in Airdrie May 2.
The 26-year-old said he has wanted to donate his locks to the Canadian Cancer Society for a while now but his mom’s diagnosis gave him the final push to go through with it.
“One of my biggest fears when I moved out here in 2008 was my parents getting ill or something happening to them,” he said. “I’ve lost uncles since I’ve moved out here and I’ve lost a grandparent and I understand that’s part of life, and although those losses were tough, when it’s your immediate family it’s a real fear.”
He was able to see his mom at Christmas time and said her strength has helped him cope. He said she was pleased to hear about his fundraising efforts and he is hopeful he will reach his goal.
“Cancer is not only affecting me. It affects everybody,” he said. “It’s great that people are willing to share and really contribute in some way or form – any little bit helps.”
Donations can be made through cancerfighters.ca by searching Halipchuk’s name under the ‘Find a Fundraiser’ tab.