Showing posts with label cancer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cancer. Show all posts

Monday, April 25, 2016

Great Cycle Challenge

I'm doing this in June. If you're reading this and can spare a few bucks, click the link! :)


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

2011 Cancer statistics

The Canadian Cancer Society posted new cancer statistics.

In 2011, an estimated 27,800 people will die of cancer in Ontario, and 66,900 new cases will be diagnosed.

Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in Ontario, followed by breast cancer and colorectal cancer, respectively.

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in Ontario. An estimated 6,700 people (3,700 men; 3,000 women) will die of lung cancer in 2011. The second leading cause of cancer death in Ontario is colorectal cancer; an estimated 3,250 people will die of colorectal cancer in 2011.

Cancer statistics for Ontario men

For Ontario men, prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed type of cancer, followed by colorectal cancer and lung cancer, respectively.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Ontario men, followed by colorectal cancer and prostate cancer, respectively.

In 2011:

  • An estimated 10,600 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and an estimated 1,550 men will die of prostate cancer.
  • An estimated 4,500 men will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and an estimated 1,800 men will die of colorectal cancer.
  • An estimated 4,100 men will be diagnosed with lung cancer, and an estimated 3,700 men will die of lung cancer.

Cancer statistics for Ontario women

For Ontario women, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed type of cancer, followed by lung cancer and colorectal cancer, respectively.

For Ontario women, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death; yet, the lung cancer mortality rate for females in Ontario is among the lowest in Canada. Breast cancer and colorectal cancer, respectively, are the next leading causes of cancer death in Ontario women.

In 2011:

  • An estimated 9,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and an estimated 1,950 women will die of breast cancer.
  • An estimated 3,900 women will be diagnosed with lung cancer, and an estimated 3,000 women will die of colorectal cancer.
  • An estimated 3,600 women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and an estimated 1,450 women will die of lung cancer.

The above findings are taken from the 2011 Canadian Cancer Statistics. These statistics are prepared, printed, and distributed through a collaboration of the Canadian Cancer Society, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Statistics Canada, provincial/territorial cancer registries, as well as university-based and provincial/territorial cancer agency-based cancer researchers.

See the original info here:

Please make a donation, whether it's $1, $2, $5, or $10 — every dollar helps.

Donations through the Relay For Life supports the Canadian Cancer Society’s mission to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of Canadians living with cancer.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Some things can't be ignored

There's a good chance that the moment you realize I'm going to ask you for a donation, you'll click away to somewhere else.

But I'm going to ask you to wait and read this first before making that choice. Maybe the little that I have to say will sink in at some point over the next couple of months and you'll decide to come back and help me out.

On the evening of June 17th, this will be my 4th year participating in the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life.

The Relay For Life is an overnight non-competitive relay (walk or run) that celebrates cancer survivors and pays tribute to loved ones. Funds raised through support the Canadian Cancer Society’s mission to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of Canadians living with cancer.

  • The number of new cancer cases will increase by approximately 60% over the next 20 years due to our aging and growing population.
  • Cancer is the leading cause of premature death in Canada.
  • During their lifetimes 39% of Canadian women and 45% of men will develop cancer.
  • Nearly 1 of every 2 men is expected to develop cancer during his lifetime and slightly more than 1 of every 3 women will develop cancer during her lifetime. Approximately 1 out of every 4 Canadians will die from cancer.

I lost my father to cancer in 1998 and a friend in 2008. My wife lost an uncle to cancer in 2009. Sadly, if you ask anyone, there's a good chance that they too have been affected by this disease.

I don't normally start seeking donations this early, but last year the organizers decided to "award" early leading teams their choice of locations to camp out around the track that night, rather than on a "first come" basis. Our team is hoping to be one of those teams this year, if they decide to do the same thing. All of our kids are coming with us this year and it's so much easier to keep tabs on them.

If you have a few dollars to spare, please consider donating. You can do it online using your credit card: It only takes a few more minutes of your time.

A blog posting is easy to ignore — cancer isn't. We have to fight it. A fight needs support.

Thank you.

(Statistics source:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nicotine is a bitch, and I owned it

Today marks my 2-year anniversary of beating nicotine addiction.

Alan Carr's "Easyway to Stop Smoking" was the best $20 that I've ever spent on a book. It's better than the patch, better than the gum, better than the pills, and better than cold turkey. Smoking isn't just a physical addiction, it's also a psychological one. If you don't beat both, you'll always crave it.

My wife read the book a year later and will be a year quit in March.

I get nothing in return for plugging the book, other than a good feeling knowing that it might help someone else. If you'd like to read some old blog posts about it, check these out.

In celebration of my amazing achievment, who wants to be the first to sponsor me for the 2011 Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life? :)


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Relay for Life – The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

After sleeping away most of Saturday, catching up on a sleep and fighting off whatever cold bug I caught between Friday night and Saturday morning, and now feel rested and pretty good.

The good

Our team goal was blown away this year!  “Lassiter Walks to Fight – Team WTF” raised $6,660, achieving the “Bronze” level status. That is incredible!


Great job team!

The experience, once again, was amazing. There seemed to be a lot more people on the track in the wee hours of the morning than I recall in previous years.

The bad

I didn’t reach the goal of $1,500 that I set this year. In fact, I didn’t even make it half way, leaving me below last year’s total. I raised $730; nothing to be ashamed of, just not what I would have liked. It happens, I guess.

Once again, a HUGE thanks to everyone who did donate toward my participation! I got to see some of the people that your donations help and they are indeed grateful.

The ugly

It was disappointing to hear that due to complaints in previous years from some residents in Orleans, they were going to shut down or turn down the DJ music at 11:00pm. The music plays throughout the night to help give people energy to keep walking.

This is a once-a-year charitable event for a good cause. A cause that will likely help you or a member of your family at some point in the future. It’s not some kind of profit-making carnival or concert. What’s wrong with some people?

Thankfully, the music did NOT turn off. I think they did turn it down a few notches though. Or perhaps they decided to continue until someone complained? I don’t know, but I’m glad it kept going.

Sure, it’s easy for me to say because I don’t live out there, but if I did live out there I still wouldn’t complain because I’d be participating.

If you’re one of those people who complain about it, why don’t you drop by next year at around 10:00pm for the Luminary ceremony and see if it changes your view. I think everyone should experience that at least once in their lives.

Monday, June 7, 2010

My Dad

My Dad in Scouts in Scotland (back row on the right):

My Dad in Scouts in Scotland.

I’m really not sure when this was taken; before I was born, I assume:


This is my sister, my Dad, and I, after we arrived in Canada in 1967. This is somewhere in Montreal, I think. No idea what kind of pose I’m doing or why:


Most of the photos I have of my Dad are really old ones, like those. We never were big on taking pictures. I have a few more recent ones, like when my Dad was my best man at my wedding in 1993. One day I’ll scan those in.

My Dad is no longer with us because he died of cancer in 1998.

Here’s some thought provoking stats from the Canadian Cancer Society:

  • The number of new cancer cases will increase by approximately 60% over the next 20 years due to our aging and growing population.
  • Cancer is the leading cause of premature death in Canada.
  • Nearly 1 of every 2 men is expected to develop cancer during his lifetime and slightly more than 1 of every 3 women will develop cancer during her lifetime.   Approximately 1 out of every 4 Canadians will die from cancer.

1 out of 4 will die from cancer.

Take a look around you and think about that for a minute. Ignoring it won’t make it go away.

No amount of money in the world will ever bring my Dad back, but every dollar that you donate to the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life will go toward fighting this disease.

There’s about a week and a half left before the Relay for Life on June 18th and I am still $820 away from reaching the goal I set this year.

My 45th Birthday is on June 16th. It sure would be an awesome Birthday if I reached my goal by then.

Click. Give. Make a difference.

Yes, this is the last time I’ll ask for donations for this year.

To everyone who has taken the time to read this and my other posts on the topic, to everyone who shares these pleas on my behalf, and especially to everyone who has donated any amount toward my goal this year and the last two years – THANK YOU. You are making a difference.

 Luminaries around the track at the Relay for Life last yearMy Dad's luminary

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

It started as a Tweet…

I was going to make this a multi-part tweet, but it was getting kinda long… so blog, it shall be. Plus, I can write more. :) If you took the time to click the link I tweeted and are reading this, thank you.

I lost my Dad in 1998 to live cancer. I lost a friend 2 years ago – he was 35 years old. It started as a simple mole on his arm. In less than a year, it spread and he was gone. Seriously… 35 years old. My wife lost an uncle last year. My brother in-law had it and beat it. That’s four people in my “circle”. I’d bet $5 that someone in your family, somewhere, has had it.

I decided that I had to do something, not only to raise awareness – clearly, we are all aware of its existence – but to help support those who are looking for a cure, or are making the lives of those affected by cancer easier.

In 2008, a friend and I put together a team for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and raised just over $3,073.

Last year I shaved my head bald after beating my personal fundraising goal of $1,000. It was awesome. Well, not the being bald part, but beating my goal. Being bald was actually rather annoying – head stubble is like Velcro. But I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Our team raised around $2,661.

This year I decided to raise the bar a little and set my goal at $1,500. In return for your generosity, I wasn't quite sure what to do that would top last year.

So, I pledged to shave off my goatee. That may seem rather lame in comparison to shaving my head, but personally, I'd rather be bald. I really like my goatee. My goatee is  like a security blanket, I guess. My kids (14 and 11) have never seen me without my goatee, or were too young to remember. It'll probably shock them. I will probably dislike being clean-shaven more than being bald.

This is where you come in. All of you. Canadians, Americans, Europeans. All of the people who follow me on Twitter and clicked the link I tweeted or posted on Facebook today and are now reading this. Well, hopefully still reading this.

If you knew me personally, you’d know how much I dislike asking anyone for anything. I’m not a pushy guy. Hell, if I had $1,500 to spare, I’d donate it all towards my goal so I didn’t have to ask anyone for anything. Seriously. So, asking for help is difficult for me. Asking for money is more difficult. But I’m going to do it anyway because it’s not for me.

And I’m not asking for a lot. A few dollars, or pounds? Anything that you can afford. It all helps. And it doesn’t matter that it’s going to a Canadian charitable cause because we’re all working toward one goal, right?

So instead of having three coffees today, how about skipping one and donating the money to me? Or, how about $5 for every person in your “circle”?


They both go to the same place.

Although I’d prefer that donations be made directly online via the Relay for Life web site, if using a credit card isn’t your thing, you can also send it as a “gift” via PayPal to spaterson AT and I’ll add it as an offline cash donation, with your name, so you can see it on my fundraising meter.

As of this posting, I am $1050 away from reaching my goal with 43 days left.

Thanks again for taking the time to read this.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Things that I remember about my Dad

I remember once when we were visiting friends of our family, we were in the backyard playing badminton... it was hot and I asked him for a sip of his beer. I must have been like 11 or 12 years old. He let me have a sip and I remember not liking it.

One morning, when I was really young, my Mother woke us up and warned us that my Father had been in a fight the night before. He got punched in the face by some thieves breaking into a car in downtown Montreal. He thought they locked themselves out of their car and checked to see if they needed help. Not his brightest moment. He was greeted with a punch to the face, breaking his dentures and causing a deep cut above one of his eyes that required stitches. For weeks, while he waited for new dentures, he had to eat soft food. He got the soft toast in the morning. He called it his "wallopy bit".

His favourite beer was Molson Export.

He had THE smelliest feet ever. After a day of work, his feet could stop a herd of bull elephants in their tracks. And kill them.

He had a mole, dead center, on his back. It looked like a Jelly Tot stuck to his back.

I remember the first time my Dad said "Fuck". We were driving in our car and some kid threw a snowball at it. It startled him and he said something like "What the fuck was that?". It was eerily quiet in the car after that, when he realized what he said. The second time I heard him say it was when I visited him at work one day. Someone came into his office to ask about some changes on a set of plans, or something like that, and he mumbled "They don't know what the fuck they're talking about..."

My Dad was my best man at my wedding. On the morning of my wedding, I was sitting in the Minister's office talking to the Minister while we waited for my Dad to arrive. He was late. Apparently, in all of the confusion of who was driving who, and when, my Dad was forgotten. When he finally arrived, he rushed into the Minister's office, wiping the sweat from his brow, and said "Jesus, it's hot out there!" He then noticed the Minister, remembered where he was, and said “Oops… sorry!”. The Minister responded, "That's ok, we say that a lot around here."

He would always wear his kilt on New Year's Eve. I have a picture somewhere of him wearing it to walk our dog, one New Year's Eve.

I remember cutting off all contact with him after he left my Mother and all of their debts. As a result, he never got to meet either of my children. He lived in Louisiana, so it wasn't too difficult. Still, it’s not something I’m proud of.

I remember calling him when he was in the hospital, in the days before he passed away, and letting him speak with his 3½ year-old grandson for the first time. It was also the last time. I heard later that he was so happy.


My Dad passed away after a very short battle with liver cancer and all the hell that goes in December 1998. If you have a few bucks to spare, please make a donation in support of my participation in the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life scheduled for June 18th. Any amount is greatly appreciated, thanks!

Click here!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I need a shave!

It's that time of year again!

June 18th and 19th will be my third year participating in the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life in Orleans, Ontario.

The Relay for Life is an overnight non-competitive relay that celebrates cancer survivors and pays tribute to loved ones. It's a night of fun, friendship and fundraising to beat cancer.

Thanks to your generosity last year I achieved my goal and, as a result, I shaved my head. It was a lot of fun and I would do it again... but where’s the fun in that?

Last year I set two goals. The first was to reach $1,000 and I would shave my head. The second was to also shave my face (moustache and goatee) if I reached $2,000. I didn't reach that second goal so I got to keep my facial hair.

I've had my facial hair for a long time and I’ve kinda grown attached to it. :) In fact, my kids (14 and 11 years old) have never seen me without my moustache. I have friends who have also not seen me without it.

So. here's the plan for this year:

I set my goal at $1,500.

$1,500 will let me shock my kids with a clean-shaven face.

I have approximately 4½ months to reach my goal. Want to help and support a great cause?

Visit here

Or click the SUPPORT ME button on the left column of my Facebook profile.

Like they say, every dollar helps. That’s a fact.

Thank you for reading!

(P.S. if you have any better ideas that aren't painful, extremely embarrassing, or illegal, feel free to suggest them!) :)

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Monday, January 25, 2010

One year later

One year ago today I quit smoking. I am still nicotine-free.

I was going to write more about it but I’ve written enough before. If you want quit and would like to know what worked for me, click here for a previous post.

Oh ya… congrats to me! :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Beige? White? Hot pink?

At some point this afternoon, Facebook statuses started appearing with a single word. That word was a colour. Any colour.

I was puzzled. What’s with all the status colours?

I did a little searching and found the reason.

Women on Facebook were changing their status to the colour of bra they were wearing to raise awareness for Breast Cancer.

Cute. Fun. Many status comments were hilarious. Some guys had fun with it, posting the colour of their underwear. Or the fictitious bra they were wearing to hold their “moobs”.

Some other guys, like me, were puzzled. And some, when they found out what it was for, thought it was “useless”, or “retarded”. They said that it did nothing. It was no different than a chain letter.

I questioned this.

How could this be useless?

They asked what it was for. I knew, and I told them. By asking what it was for, they proved that it worked. It raised awareness.

The debate began.

I argued that it’s comparable to… wearing a pink ribbon. Or, wearing a poppy. Neither of those is a waste of time. They both serve a purpose. They raise awareness.

It was said that those two are different because they raise money for charities.

True, they do, but by us wearing them they also RAISE AWARENESS for those charities. What other purpose do they serve? A thank you? Sure. If you want to say that their sole purpose is to raise money, then wouldn’t it be a better idea to take the money spent on those little ribbons and use the money for the charity?

Perhaps. In fact, I could argue that a Facebook status is better than a ribbon, or a poppy because it costs nothing.

It is impossible for a charity to raise money without raising awareness first. If you know how, speak up. I’m sure they’d love to hear it.

By giving you something in return for your donation, and you wearing it, you are helping to raise awareness so more donations come in.

It’s silly to think that nobody has ever heard of breast cancer.   But awareness isn’t just about telling you something you’ve never heard of.  It’s about making you think about it, regardless of whether you’ve heard about it before.

I really makes me sad to think that some people think it was a dumb idea. A waste of time. That it served no purpose.

If one person made a donation as a result of those “useless” and “retarded” bra colour status, then wasn’t it worth the effort? Did it not raise awareness?

I proved that it worked. I made donation this evening to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Donation Confirmation

I now challenge you to do the same. Doing nothing is useless.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Follow @DrewFromTV

If you’re on Twitter, you need to follow @DrewFromTV. It’s Drew Carey… from TV. :) For every follower he gets by the end of 2009, he’ll donate $1 to LIVESTRONG in the fight against cancer. The goal is $1 million but he’s about 713,000 short of that goal.

Even if you’re not on Twitter, join and follow just because you can. It’s too easy and can make a difference.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Week 14 - Dad

Dad (14/52)
Originally uploaded by Twister65
Ok, I’m cheating on my photo of the week again.

I didn’t take this photo. I scanned it a couple of years ago from one of many that my Mom had in a shoe box.

This is my Dad. He passed away from liver cancer in 1998. Yesterday would have been his 71st Birthday.

May he rest in peace.

Miss you, Dad.

Friday, June 12, 2009

We (YOU!) did it!

the logo of the CCSImage via Wikipedia

With $930 in online donations and $70 cash, I have now officially reached my $1000 fund raising target for the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life.

THANK YOU ALL for your generosity and sick minds wanting to see my shave my head. :)

As stated on the event page, the shaving date is June 21st (Father's Day), which also happens to be the day after the Relay ends. I'm hoping it'll be a nice day so I can sit outside, have a beer or two and let it happen. If you live in the area, you're more than welcome to drop by for the hour or so and share a beer and a few laughs. I'll post the address closer to the big day. There will be photo taking and video, which I will post on the event page a day or two later so be sure to drop by.

Thanks again and thank you for your patience enduring my fund raising spam! And please remember, just because I reached my target, the fund raising efforts are not over -- I just won't be spamming you anymore. :) If you wish to donate to a good cause, you can do so here

And, if by some miracle I hit $2000 before the big day, I will still also shave my face. :)

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Chrome Dome!

the logo of the CCSImage via Wikipedia

On June 19th, I am participating in the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life. I did it last year and had a great time raising money for an awesome cause.

Although I set my personal goal at $600, I want more.

So, here's the deal. If I can raise $1,000 or more, I'll shave my head bald. Ok, I generally keep my hair pretty short to begin with, but I have never been bald.

And I'll take it one step further.

If my personal total meets or exceeds $2,000, I will also shave off my goatee and my moustache. My kids have never seen me without facial hair. At the very least, they have always seen me with a moustache.

I am pretty attached to my moustache (no pun intended), which is why I set the goal pretty high for it. But, I promise that if my personal total matches or exceeds $2,000, my head will be as nekkid as nekkid can be.

There will be photos and maybe even video proof, when and if it happens.

I challenge you all to make it happen. You can donate here

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