Alberta Cancer Foundation

Meet Ian Robinson

Ian Robinson photographed by Jared Sych.

Career journalist Ian Robinson always had a passion for exercise until he developed a nagging pain in his neck that wouldn’t go away. A few doctors’ appointments later, he learned that not only had he been walking around with a broken neck, it was caused by previously undiagnosed stage 4 prostate cancer. Robinson’s diagnosis may have changed how he spends his days, but it has also made him more grateful, emotionally unfiltered and motivated to make every day count.

In his own words:

“I was actually, literally, dying when I was diagnosed. I got pulled back out of the grave, basically, so I immediately went to a place of being grateful. If you take your eyes off that and allow the losses to fill your mind, that can get pretty dark and overwhelming.

“I have a pretty rigorous spiritual practice to which I adhere to keep that at bay. I read from three books every morning [the King James Version of the Bible, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style] and I have a prayer and meditation routine. I started doing that very early on in my cancer saga and I found that it focuses my mind on what’s important. And part of the prayer routine is I give thanks for what I’m grateful for. “Going to Wellspring Calgary [a community-based support centre for cancer patients, family members and caregivers] and being surrounded by people who get you is huge for my mental health. I write a blog for Wellspring, in a way that is just basically stripped naked, fully vulnerable, tell the entire truth, all the time — because I want to appall men into getting tested.

“I tell every guy I meet to get the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. You should take men’s health seriously.”

Read more about Ian’s journey at