A close-knit community that understands

Photo of Bob McIntyre
Bob McIntyre

Bob McIntyre faced his first cancer diagnosis in 2003. He was successfully treated, and was able to return to work as an Electrical Supervisor until his retirement five years later. At a time when he and his wife, Elaine, should have been enjoying their grandkids and travelling, Bob faced his second cancer diagnosis in 2010 – stage three colon cancer.

“I was always under the impression that once you got cancer, that was it,” shared Bob. “Life was done.”

During his treatment in hospital, Bob learned about the Wellness program which supports people living with cancer or a life-limiting illness. Elaine was intrigued because of the complementary therapies offered, such as Reiki, massage therapy and reflexology. She encouraged him to attend.

“I was like a deer in headlights when I first arrived; very apprehensive,” said Bob. “As soon as you walk in the door, however, you’re made to feel welcome. Everyone hugs one another. It’s a very comfortable atmosphere.”

“We are a very close-knit community. By coming here, you help one another through all the treatments. When someone shares their pain, you also feel their pain. You can talk to family and to friends but they don’t always understand what you’re going through. When you come here and you meet with staff, volunteers and caregivers, you can be open and they understand what you’re going through also.”

Bob and Elaine have started a Monday coffee group for Wellness participants, and continue to enjoy travelling and time with their grandkids.