BC Cancer Foundation - Fall 2016 - (Page 14)

LEGACY GIVING Ray and Sybil Allen Man of Many Talents Also a Loyal Supporter Ray Allen did many jobs in his three decades working at BC Cancer Agency, where he and his wife were both treated W hile reminiscing about his impressive and diverse career in cancer care, Ray Allen's passion is contagious. He wore many hats throughout his 30-plus years with the BC Cancer Agency, reinventing himself as patient needs and technology evolved. Ray mastered new trades, from fabricating moulds for treatment execution to developing patient prosthetics. His memory serves as a running history in cancer care as he recalls working behind big lead shields and using extraordinarily long tweezer-like tools to handle live radium sources used to treat gynecologic cancers. Radiation therapy "relics of the past," as Ray puts it, ran on radioactive 14 PARTNERS IN DISCOVERY cobalt, which had to be replaced once every five years. "It was quite a performance," he says, chuckling at the memory of the radioactive substance arriving on a flatbed truck and being wheeled through the halls of the BC Cancer Agency. As the treatment technology advanced, so too did the need for patient moulds, primarily used for head and neck cancer patients. These encasings help keep the patient immobilized and mark the precise spots where treatment needs to be delivered. Ray ran the mould room at the BC Cancer Agency for many years until his boss, Dr. Maxwell Evans, asked him to help establish a prosthetics department. "I happened to have a book on the subject," says Ray, who started reading, learning and mastering prosthetics. He quickly learned the value this provided, giving patients a semblance of normalcy back after surgery and treatment had left glaring voids. And then, cancer became personal. Ray's wife Sybil was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a radical mastectomy, removal of 17 lymph nodes, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. This was in 1981. Today, thankful to "still be around," Sybil says the work being done in cancer research gives hope to those newly diagnosed. Then, Ray was diagnosed with prostate cancer. While still working at the BC Cancer Agency, he started treatment; 24 years later, he takes hormone therapy every day. Now two decades into retirement, Ray keeps busy caring for his love Sybil, volunteering with the Burnaby Community Police and leading a group that makes meals for local homeless. Ray and Sybil have made a gift to the BC Cancer Foundation in their will. "Treatment has advanced tremendously and we can only imagine what's going to happen in the next 10 years," Ray says. YOUR LEGACY Making a gift in your will can advance cancer research while still ensuring your family is well cared for. Contact Kelly Sodtka at legacy@bccancer.bc.ca to learn more today.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BC Cancer Foundation - Fall 2016

BC Cancer Foundation - Fall 2016
Opening Thoughts
Healthy Insights
Why I Give
Researcher Profi le
Bringing Cancer Care Closer to Home
Mapping the Spread of the Deadliest
A Better Biopsy
The Cancer’s DNA Matters
Legacy Giving
Regional Roundup

BC Cancer Foundation - Fall 2016

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