Alberta Cancer Foundation


Mike Zurawell

Alberta Cancer Foundation announces matching gift campaign with ambitious goal of raising $300,000 in support of world-class cancer research and care here in Alberta.

ALBERTA As we approach this year’s globally celebrated Giving Tuesday, the Alberta Cancer Foundation is honoured to share Mike Zurawell’s story to inspire the community to give and make a difference for the 1 in 2 Albertans who will face a cancer diagnosis. 

In November 2022, Mike, an otherwise healthy Albertan, a husband and a father of three active teens was diagnosed with double-hit lymphoma, an aggressive and hard-to-treat cancer. He was told he only had one week left to live. 

“Our world was completely turned upside down,” says Mike. “I was in a ‘What If’ frame of mind. What if this is my last Christmas? What if this is the last volleyball tournament I can watch? I was worrying about the future in ‘what ifs’ and it was really starting to occupy my thoughts.”

Thanks to world-class research and care at the Cross Cancer Institute – funded by Alberta Cancer Foundation donors – Mike is still with us today, enjoying every moment with his family. But he isn’t in the clear yet. Because of the aggressive form of Mike’s cancer, he recently became a candidate for an innovative new treatment available through a made-in-Alberta clinical trial at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton. This trial, made possible thanks to the support of Alberta Cancer Foundation donors, is giving hope and more moments to Mike and other Albertans facing hard-to-treat cancers. 

“Thirty days after my last treatment there are signs of impact on the tumors, which is an incredible relief,” says Mike. “One year ago, I was told that I only had a week or so to live, but I am still here, thanks to this trial and the donors and medical team who made it possible. And I’m still holding onto hope. Hope that this treatment continues to work and hope that there are many more vacations and graduations and all those big moments in life.”

In pursuit of helping the Alberta Cancer Foundation reach its $300,000 fundraising goal, and inspired by Mike’s story and the other 23,000 Albertans who hear, “You have cancer” each year, local hospitality company Basecamp Resorts has graciously committed to doubling the impact and matching donations to the Alberta Cancer Foundation up to $30,000. All funds raised through this campaign will help advance cancer research, treatment, and care at all cancer centres across the province, including Edmonton’s Cross Cancer Institute and Calgary’s new Arthur J.E. Child Comprehensive Cancer Centre, opening in 2024.

“We are grateful to Mike for bravely sharing his story with us, reminding us of the profound impact giving back can have,” says Wendy Beauchesne, CEO of the Alberta Cancer Foundation. “With the generous commitment from Basecamp Resorts and the support of our community on and around Giving Tuesday, I know we can continue to support innovation in cancer research and care, providing hope to more Alberta families facing this challenging journey.”

All Albertans are encouraged to mark Giving Tuesday down in their calendars for November 28 and support generations of Albertans to come. 

Media are invited to contact us for more information on Giving Tuesday and to arrange interviews with Mike Zurawell, grateful patient, and Wendy Beauchesne, CEO of the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

A complimentary video featuring Mike’s story and the Alberta Cancer Foundation’s End of Year campaign is also available here. Additional images and graphics can be found in our media kit.

For media inquiries, contact:

Breanne Kraus | Director, Communications & Marketing

Alberta Cancer Foundation | 780.905.9273 | 

About the Alberta Cancer Foundation

Creating more moments for Albertans facing cancer by inspiring our community to give to innovation in detection, treatment and care.

Albertans helping Albertans is at the core of everything the Alberta Cancer Foundation does. As the official fundraising partner for every Alberta Health Services cancer centre in Alberta, our very purpose comes from our desire to create more moments for all Albertans facing cancer, no matter where they live or the type of cancer they are facing. From the Canmore mountains to the canola fields in Lloydminster, we make life better for Albertans facing cancer by supporting world-class research and patient care, close to home.

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