Cancer survivor and mother speak out for World Cancer Day – Prince George Daily News

Jocelyne Degula

When Jocelyn Degula began planning her family’s move from Dubai to Dawson Creek in 2021, she couldn’t have imagined what her first year in the northeast BC city would be like.

Jocelyn Deluga was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer during a routine health check a month before they moved from Dubai to Dawson Creek. Her house was packed, her children were about to start school, her husband was starting classes at the local college – they couldn’t change their plans.

A week before the move, Jocelyn had the tumor surgically removed, but she still needed chemotherapy and radiation treatments to eradicate the remaining cancer cells. In August 2021, Jocelyn found herself in a new country with no support network and no knowledge of the healthcare system, trying to figure out how to access the life-saving treatment she needed.

Dawson Creek Hospital put her in touch with BC Cancer — Center for the North in Prince George and their team sprang into action. Jocelyn was told she would have to spend a month in Prince George – a five-hour drive from her new home in Dawson Creek – for treatment.

BC Cancer – Prince George serves more than 115 municipalities in the North and covers a geographical area of ​​the order of France (600,000 km2). Patients in remote communities face additional challenges, including arranging travel, finding and paying for accommodation close to their treatment centers, and other issues associated with being away from home for many years. long periods.

“I had to bring my children, because they were still small and my husband was studying. They told me not to worry about the accommodation and they [BC Cancer’s Patient & Family Counselling team] arranged an Airbnb for us to stay during my treatment.”

This assistance was provided through the BC Cancer Foundation’s donor-funded Beyond Barriers Patient Relief Fund. The fund provides patients, who meet specific program criteria, with the financial and logistical resources needed to access treatment. This includes patients from rural communities like Jocelyn.

Jocelyn is now cancer free and her family has settled in Dawson Creek.

“We are very grateful. Even though we were new here and didn’t know anyone, they still treated us like family.

The Beyond Barriers Patient Relief Fund is made possible by the donor community. Donate today to help support patients in rural communities, access lifesaving care.

On February 4, World Cancer Day, millions of people around the world will unite to move closer to a world where no one dies of preventable cancer or suffers needlessly. A place where everyone has access to the cancer care they need. World Cancer Day 2023 marks the second year of the three-year “Closing the Care Gap” campaign centered on the issue of equity.

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