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Honouring the Past for a Cancer-Free Future
Bethsaida truly felt that it was love at first sight from the moment she laid eyes on neighbour David Callow. “I knew, this is the man I want to be with until death do us part,” says Bethsaida.
Unfortunately, Bethsaida and David were parted by death just nine days short of their 20th wedding anniversary and only two years after David was diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 44. For men in Alberta, prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed type of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death.
Living in Morinville at the time of his cancer diagnosis, David commuted frequently to Edmonton’s Cross Cancer Institute for radiation. Staff at the Cross Cancer Institute went above and beyond to create a positive atmosphere during a challenging time. Bethsaida recalls the day David came home from another treatment at the Cross Cancer Institute, excitedly telling her his two favourite nurses decorated the treatment area with a poster of film star Catherine Deneuve. Unbeknownst to the nurses, David was a longtime fan of the famous French actress. Bethsaida still yearns to meet the two nurses that took the time to provide extra special comfort and care while David faced a painful cancer journey.
During his radiation treatment, David still continued to work with special needs adults, a job he loved. His nurses and Bethsaida marveled at how he “didn’t complain once about his pain,” while managing his goal of providing for his family so they could continue to live comfortably upon his departure.
David’s legacy of generosity and compassion for others is a core value Bethsaida holds to this day, which is why she has left her grandchildren and the Alberta Cancer Foundation as benefactors of an insurance policy and her will. “David would have given his last cent to anybody,” recounts Bethsaida. “We have lost so many people to this horrendous disease, and it must be eradicated now.” Bethsaida called the Alberta Cancer Foundation and Gift Planning Specialist Derek Michael was able to ensure that her wishes in terms of taking care of her family while still reaching her own charitable goals of contributing to a cancer-free future would be carried out.
When asked what David would think of her decision to leave the Alberta Cancer Foundation in her will, Bethsaida gazes down at the ring she had made in his honour and whispers, “He’d be happy.”