Meet the Storytellers

We are grateful to those who generously shared very personal stories to assist others during this difficult time of life (see Meet the Storytellers). Thank you also to grief experts Fred Nelson and Dr. Chris Mackinnon for sharing their wisdom.

Regina, Saskatchewan
Alvin's wife, Darlene, was diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer in 2007. She died in 2013. Alvin lives in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Montreal, Quebec
Bonnie's husband, Ray, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2011 and died two years later. They were married for 41 years and had three children. Bonnie lives in Lachine, Quebec.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Cheryl is second-generation; her parents came to Canada from China. She grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia where she works as a school teacher. Cheryl cared for her father after he was diagnosed with lung cancer.
Wasaga Beach, Ontario
Dianne's husband, Doug, died of prostate cancer in 2012 at age 59. They were married 35 years and had two children. Dianne lives in Wasaga Beach, Ontario.
Elder Elva 
Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario
Elva Jameson, a retired teacher and elder, works with the health and palliative care teams in Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario as a traditional medicine practitioner.
Pastor Efrem
Toronto, Ontario
Pastor Dr. Efrem Leakemariam is a pastor at the Ethiopian Evangelical Church in Toronto, Ontario. He came to Canada from Ethiopia in 1989.
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Francesca Cotroneo came to Winnipeg from Italy with her parents in 1962. She is a retired psychiatrist and had a particular interest in cross-cultural counselling. Francesca currently cares for her mother; she helped care for her father before he died of cancer.
Brampton, Ontario
Hamayun came to Canada from Pakistan in 2007. When his wife, Humara, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2013, it had metastasized to her lungs. Their daughter was a teenager and their son two-years old when Humara died in 2014. Hamayun lives in Brampton, Ontario.
Toronto, Ontario
Hodan Nalayeh, is a Somali-Canadian journalist and community leader. Her family moved to Canada when she was six years old. Hodan and her two young sons live in Toronto, Ontario where she is a host on Integration TV.
Skidegate, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia
Jenny is Haida First Nation and lives in Skidegate, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia. She was a caregiver for her mother who passed away from lymphoma.
Jim Tuttauk
Hopedale, Labrador
Jim Tuttauk is the former AngajukKak (mayor) of Hopedale, Labrador. He cared for his mother when she died of stomach cancer.
Etobicoke, Ontario
Lynn's father, Jack, died of melanoma in November 2013. Eleven months later, her younger brother died. He had cancer, a degenerative spinal cord disease and severed his cerebral cortex in a fall. She lives in Etobicoke, Ontario.
Woodbridge, Ontario
Meaza's husband, David, died of kidney cancer. Married for 25 years, they came to Canada from Ethiopia. Meaza lives in the Toronto-area.
Mishi & Aimee
Toronto, Ontario
Mishi and Aimee's daughter, Stella Joy, was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour at age two. She died 16 months later. Aimee and Mishi live in Toronto with Stella Joy's two brothers, Hugo and Sam.
Pickering, Ontario
Neenu and her husband, Shekhar, came to Canada from India in 2001. Shekhar was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013 and died a year later. Their sons were 8 and 10 when their father died. Neenu lives in Pickering, Ontario.
Elder Pete Thompson
Skidegate, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia
Pete Thompson is Mohawk First Nation but has lived for several years in Skidegate, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia where he was adopted into the Raven Wolf Clan. He is an elder and traditional healer at the Xaaynangaa Naay Health Centre.
Toronto, Ontario
Pina's husband, Al, was diagnosed with leukemia at age 47. He died 10 years later. She lives near Toronto, Ontario.
Toronto, Ontario
Rosanna De Rango is the social work practice leader at Villa Colombo Services for Seniors in Toronto, Ontario. She is originally from Italy.
Sandy Kwong
Vancouver, British Columbia
Sandy Kwong was born in Hong Kong and moved to Canada in 2000. She has been a social worker with the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver, British Columbia since 2001.
Shahina Siddiqui
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Shahina Siddiqui is a spiritual counsellor and Executive Director of the Islamic Social Services Association in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She immigrated to Canada from Pakistan in 1976.
Toronto, Ontario
Valerie's daughter Natalie died of leukemia when she was nine. Valerie lives in Toronto, Ontario with Natalie's father and two sisters.
Dr. Chris Mackinnon
Montreal, Quebec
Dr. Chris Mackinnon lectures at McGill University's Department of Oncology and is a counselling psychologist at the Balfour M. Mount Palliative Care Unit, McGill University Health Centre. He researches bereavement and life transition; family caregivers in palliative care; and cross-cultural organizational practices in palliative care.
Fred Nelson
Social Worker
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Fred Nelson is a social worker with over 35 years of experience in palliative care as a clinician, consultant and teacher. He has been a member of the Canadian Virtual Hospice team since 2008. He retired in 2014 as Psychosocial Program Specialist with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority's Palliative Care Program. He lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Mike Harlos
Palliative Care Physician
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Dr. Mike Harlos is the Clinical Team Leader for the Canadian Virtual Hospice. Dr. Harlos is Medical Director of Adult and Pediatric Palliative Care for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, and is Professor and Section Head of Palliative Medicine at the University of Manitoba.
Last modified: Sunday, 16 October 2016, 9:19 PM