Alberta Cancer Foundation

Surviving and Thriving: The Frank Lightbound legacy

“It makes all of the difference to have the support of caring medical people. It’s comforting to be around them.” – Frank Lightbound, cancer survivor and legacy donor.

During my 32-year career as a forest ranger and park warden, I covered much of Alberta’s terrain. From horseback to helicopter and wildfires in between, I had more than my share of close calls. Maybe that’s what made it so tough for cancer to knock me down.

Frank Lightbound

When I retired at 55, I thought life would be a breeze after all those years in the field. So when my doctor told me I had lymphocytic leukemia, I thought well, this sure is lousy timing.

I was treated close to home at the Jack Ady Cancer Centre in Lethbridge. My leukemia is incurable, but the ongoing treatment has kept it controlled and allowed me to live my life.

A few years later, I had prostate cancer surgery. After a nine-day recovery, I walked out of hospital prostate-cancer-free.

With all that behind me, I barely blinked when my doctor suspected skin cancer a couple of years ago. After all, I’m a survivor – still going strong at 89!

I’m told I’m among the one million Canadians around who have survived cancer for more than 10 years.

We’re living proof that cancer treatments are getting better, thanks to the remarkable work being done right here in Alberta.

I feel incredibly grateful. And if we continue to see improvements in cancer treatment, the next generation will be talking even more about life after cancer.

I decided the best way to help make that happen was to leave a gift in my will to the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Every little bit helps.

I’ve had a long life filled with lots of good moments, and I feel good knowing I’m making sure more Albertans can, too.

Inspired by Frank Lightbound and his story? Learn more about Legacy Giving here or contact Christy Soholt at

Read the letter Frank Lightbound wrote to legacy donors below.

As I got older and the strenuous work got more difficult, I decided to retire and move back home to Lethbridge. Not long after moving there, I had a regular checkup with my doctor. I was shocked when he sent me for some tests that revealed that I had lymphocytic leukemia – a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

Now, I’m not one to dwell on misfortune so I just put my head down and got busy with the treatments. It was then – in 1985 – that I first encountered the fine people at the Jack Ady Cancer Centre in Lethbridge. This is one of seventeen cancer centres across Alberta supported by the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Thanks to the generosity of thousands of Albertans every year, Alberta’s cancer centres deliver world class care to their patients – and give them the best possible chance at a long and healthy future.

The amazing doctors, nurses and technicians in Lethbridge treated me successfully – not once but three times. You see, over the years I was also diagnosed with prostate cancer and skin cancer. I can definitely say that I’m alive and kicking today because of the wonderful folks at the cancer centre (many of whom have become my friends) and the donors across Alberta who have helped fund all this amazing work.

Today, I feel lucky to be alive and healthy. I love to look back on my life and remember so many incredible times. If I had to go back, I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. I’m also so grateful to have survived cancer for almost four decades.

Some time ago, I decided that I wanted to do something really significant to say thank you to the doctors and donors who kept me alive and healthy. I also wanted to do my part so that someone who receives a cancer diagnosis years from now will have the chance at the same happy outcome that I had. That’s why I left a gift in my will to the Alberta Cancer Foundation. It’s the way that I can make the biggest donation possible to a cause that is very important to me. And, I trust the Alberta Cancer Foundation to spend its donated dollars where they can do the most good and save the most lives.

I feel a deep satisfaction knowing that someone will benefit from my legacy gift after I’m gone. It just feels like the right thing to do. I’ve shared my story with you today in the hope that you’ll consider whether leaving a gift in your will to the Alberta Cancer Foundation might feel like the right thing to do too. If cancer has touched your life, perhaps a gift in your will would be a fitting way for you to pay it back and pay it forward.

Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to my story. I wish you many years of health and happiness.

Frank Lightbound