This will be my second year participating in The Calgary Stair climb, and I have been waiting for this to happen again all year!
I am employed with Lamont County Emergency Services as a lieutenant, as well as a district and Regional Instructor.
This year has been full of cancer diagnosis to people who are an important part of my life. I would like to add people to this year’s tribute, in honour of their cancer journeys, and to their families.
First, I will be climbing for my husband Dave Hosack, who has bravely just finished treatment for prostate cancer the second time, he really is my hero, and I love him with all my heart. He completed very aggressive radical treatment, all while maintaining his work, only missing one day because he had shingles and meningitis (even then he lied to the Doctor so he could get back to work!!!). He’s a hard worker and some days I wonder how on earth he does it! He also does all of this without complaining even once!! Except his hot flashes … look out when he is on fire ;). We just found out that Dave’s PSA levels are UNDETECTABLE! This is music to my ears! Our daughters, and grandchildren could not be happier, and we are all on top of the world. Dave has many more years to spend his time doing the things he loves such as boating, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, quading, dancing and singing (far too early in the morning!), walking our dogs, and spending time with his friends. I look forward to seeing Dave kicking cancer’s butt.
It has been a tough year for the Hosack family and prostate cancer. Dave’s brothers Randy and Murray were all diagnosed and are receiving treatment. Like true Hosacks, they face it like everything else, with a vengeance.
Murray Hosack and his wife Jeanette moved to the farm they loved and called home 20 years ago. He has a passion for animals, especially horses, and his dogs. They have a close family with their two daughters and son, who frequent visits to the farm with the grandkids. We all know how those little grandkids can make any day a better day, and when I see them together the love is beaming. Murray also has a giggle that cracks me up. Murray is just starting his cancer treatment, but I know him, and nothing will hold him back from the fight.
Randy Hosack and his wife Edwina moved to Nanaimo, BC over 20 years ago after running the infamous bakery in Lamont where people frequented from all around. Randy enjoys the beautiful island and loves taking his visitors on long sightseeing hikes, visiting art galleries, and going to the beach to do some crabbing. He is a man of many trades, being a pipefitter, cook, baker, meat cutter, wine maker … the list goes on. You will never find Randy sitting still. Randy is currently kicking prostate cancer right where it hurts!
Darren Vandervaate is my nephew through marriage, but not just family, mostly I just think he’s a friend. Darren has been with his wife Cassandra as long as I have known them. They met at Island lake and have made it their home. He can be found either working his butt off or visiting his MANY friends around the lake – there’s not a resident out there who doesn’t know who he is, Darren is a true social butterfly. Darren was diagnosed with testicular cancer in December 2016. From his diagnosis to the start of his treatment was literally a couple of days. Darren courageously and boldly treated his cancer aggressively with surgery and chemo. The chemo didn’t really make him too sick, but it sure did mess with his sleep. He got little to no sleep at all for months. During those months he found a hobby and built six amazing mega super up Golf carts! (One of them is mine.) During the summer months you will see him driving his lime green cart around the lake with one or more of the six labs has raised since puppies. Darren has kicked cancer right in the nuts and has been cancer free since his treatment.
I will also be climbing again for the second year, for our dearly departed friend who we met at Island Lake, Rick Cholak who fought like no other person I have ever met in my life. He was literally the toughest man I have ever known. Rick did countless treatments to fight for his life, and never once would you hear him complain or have people feel sorry for him … probably due to the fact he was incredibly strong willed. Rick was also one of the hardest working men on the planet! He put his heart and soul into Dewar Western right up to the very end. Sadly, Rick passed away Sept 19, 2018. His wife Terry is a good friend and her strength the past year has been inspiring. Clearly, they had a love like no other. I know she misses her lifelong love very, very much, as do his children (a son and daughter) and their spouses, and his three grandchildren. Rick’s family, extended family, friends and coworkers would do anything to see him or hear his voice again.
My Mom, Lyall Sneddon, was known as a kind and loving woman. She would do her best to make you laugh, and she wasn’t afraid to engage in full on conversation with a total stranger, and within minutes she made a new friend. Mom made friends everywhere she went. When she turned 40 her health declined. She fought her entire life after that to keep healthy, but life just kept kicking her down…but she would not stay down. She faced death more than anyone I know and still came out on top. Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I feel like that was the one that truly tested what she was capable of. Breast cancer robbed her of what she felt was her womanhood. In true “Lyall” fashion she pushed through, she didn’t complain, and beat that cancer!!! Years later mom passes away from diabetes complications leaving her husband Bob, my brother and sister and spouses, her two sisters, a brother, a baseball team of grandchildren, and way too many friends to count! She is often remembered and thought of with a smile, and I’m sure she is loving being with her departed son, brothers, and parents.
My Uncle George Shortreed. One of the first men who had an influence in my life when I was born in Toronto. Uncle George and his wife Auntie Marg and my mom and Dad were very close and spent a lot of time together raising me, my brother and my cousins Greg and Susan. Uncle George is a quiet, smart, and loving man who loves to spend his time travelling with Auntie. One of my earliest childhood memories was sitting with him chatting. I wasn’t more than 3 years old. My family moved away from Ontario to St. Albert when I was 3, and we didn’t get to see each other very often, but I always know that there is a special place in his and Auntie Marg’s heart. Uncle George was diagnosed with Prostate cancer in 2002. He decided on doing treatment as non-invasive as possible as he still needed to work, and his job made it too difficult to be aggressive. He has had a clean bill of health and is doing awesome.
Another lake friend Terry Kaprowski was diagnosed with cancer. His friends and family are very happy that he does regular PSA tests and caught his cancer early, literally saving his own life. He took the bull by the horns, treated it as aggressively as he could, and came out with undetectable PSA literally a week before Dave! Terry is retired and likes to spend his days at the lake with his love Claudette, his son, daughter and her wife and his grandchildren. He has a beautiful property and loves to entertain his friends and family. Terry is full of energy and is often seen on his boat, snowmobile, side by side or fishing (ice and boat). He has a close group of friends who, when together I swear, I see a group of young men at heart.
This year I have also add my mentor Mr. Randy Segboer (aka “sir”) who also was also a victim of prostate cancer and lost his battle Feb 17, 2012, which was also the last day I worked as an EMT – the straw that broke the camel’s (me) back. His passing was devastating, and I did not return. Mr. Segboer shaped hundreds of minds including my own and pushed them to limits they never would have dreamed they could reach as the lead instructor for the EST Course at the Fire and Emergency Services training school in Vermilion.