The idea for Cancer Crossing originated with Dr. Tse Li Luk, who technically died and came back to life following a stroke, which left him temporarily paralyzed and speechless. Among those who heard his life-changing story was a group of friends and acquaintances, who came to share his passion for publishing a book that explores life’s meaning as seen through the eyes of those with cancer. Cancer was chosen because, for many, they have the luxury of time to evaluate what’s important to them and to change how they live their lives.
In the book, 17 cancer patients, physicians and caregivers share their stories with brutal candour. Their stories are inspiring, sometimes heart-wrenching, but there is a life lesson in each one. The book affords all of us an opportunity to examine our own lives, what motivates us and what is truly important.
Through its black and white photography, the book also captures a sense of the character and inner strength of each one of the individuals who share their stories. Some of the images are a living memory of those who have passed away.
There is another element to the book. It is a means of supporting those dealing with the daily challenges of living with a disease that hijacks their lives and often imposes financial hardship. 100% of the net proceeds from the sale of the book, and 100% of donations received are to go specifically to cancer patients.
Cancer Crossing acknowledges that cancer patients experience additional expenses as a result of their treatment. These expenses include such things as prescription drugs, travel from rural areas to larger centres where most cancer treatment is provided, bath and shower supportive devices, prosthetics, home oxygen, parking, child care and other medical devices such as compression garments and wheelchair rentals.
The Canadian universal health care system does not cover 100% of a person’s medical expenses. Even with private insurance, there are limits in both particular expenses that are covered and annual dollar limits on coverage. Furthermore, cancer treatment tends to span a long period of time, so absence from work or an inability to work becomes an issue with strong financial consequences. Government benefits such as EI are limited in the percentage of income paid and the time for which it is paid out. Company sick benefits are generally intended for a short period of time and therefore run out rather quickly as well. Self-employed people do not qualify for EI and therefore lose income as they need to scale back their business while in treatment.
The purpose of Cancer Crossing is to provide financial relief to cancer patients and their families while active treatment is underway.
In order to accomplish this goal, Cancer Crossing has self-published a book titled ‘Cancer Crossing’, which is a compilation of stories of cancer patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals, accompanied by touching black and white photographs of the subjects, bringing their stories further to life. The purpose of the book is twofold; for those who buy it, there are seventeen short stories detailing seventeen different points of view of the cancer journey. The stories all offer a form of encouragement for those struggling – not just with cancer, but now struggling with life in general. Net proceeds from book sales go directly to cancer patients residing in Canada who have established to Cancer Crossing that they are struggling financially.
Cancer Crossing also accepts donations and holds fundraising events to build the patient support fund. 100% of all donations received go to the patient fund and net proceeds from fundraising events also go to the patient fund.
To provide financial relief to Canadian cancer patients who incur expenses related to the diagnosis and subsequent treatmaent of cancer not covered by the universal health care system or private insurance and who establish financial need.