Walking for Each OtherA year after his wife’s partial stomach, spleen, and pancreas removal in 2015, Eli Hay registered for The Journey to Conquer Cancer. He was inspired by the selfless care that his wife received while being treated at The Princess Margaret, so he wanted to get involved by making a positive impact. Eli had no clue that his support of The Princess Margaret at the time would come back to him full circle, years later.
Eli started his first Journey alongside his children and their friends in 2016. With one child still in a stroller, Team Yummy Yummy No Tummy set off to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients by taking their first step. When they completed their first Journey, they knew that they would return for a second, and they kept their word by doing so a year later.
“It became the norm,” Eli said.
Things changed in 2019 when Eli was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He underwent radiation and a variety of other treatments for two years at The Princess Margaret, but in 2020, when Eli was diagnosed with colon cancer, 12 inches of his intestine had to be removed. His wife and family were beside him the whole time.
“…The carer from 2015 to 2019 became the caree of the original cancer patient.”
The surgery was successful, but life didn’t stay peaceful for the Hay family for long.
In 2021, a bladder growth was discovered in Eli’s wife. Fortunately, it was benign. She still undergoes checkups every 6 months to maintain and review the growth, but to Eli, the fact that she is safe and sound under the care of watchful researchers and scientists at The Princess Margaret - something possible due to funds raised for events like The Journey, is enough peace of mind.
“The Journey to Conquer Cancer allowed us to get together and raise funds for important research purposes. With the involvement of my daughter and my daughter-in-law, who works in another hospital, I collected quite a few outside friends from outside the city to support me in my journey. The exposure that came from the walk for our grandchildren was great, too. They were having fun, they were being made aware of what Nana and Papa had, and they had accepted that we were ill and were now doing better. We support each other and help each other which is important. All the grandkids try and amuse us, we amuse them. They tease us and we tease them and that’s a good way of accepting life and enjoying life - Anything to help the Journey!”