Together we can – Cancer patient recalls an act of kindness in her community

Having cancer and dealing with COVID-19 is a lot to cope with. Robin Hairsine from Edmonton had just completed nine and a half months of cancer treatments on February 4th this year when the city went into lockdown a month later.
Robin Hairsine at the Cross Cancer Institute in December 2019.

“After I completed my treatments, I thought things were finally over and that it would go back to how they used to be. I was looking forward to recovery, going back to work and seeing the people I love more often. But, that’s all going to have to wait now,” recalls Robin.

In September of this year, during a routine six months post-treatment mammogram, Robin was diagnosed with breast cancer again, this time in the other breast.

“This was a crushing diagnosis for me. I didn’t think I would be back at the Cross Cancer Institute, 7 months post-treatments, getting treatments for cancer, again,” says Robin.

As someone who is undergoing cancer treatment during a pandemic, we asked her how she felt supported by her community and she shared an inspiring experience she had with a local business in Sherwood Park, Alberta.
“I was scrolling through Facebook one evening when I couldn’t sleep and I noticed that Funky Petals in Sherwood Park was honouring those impacted by breast cancer during the month of October. I commented on their post thanking them as a cancer warrior myself and received a message from them saying that they were touched by my story.
A few days later I received a beautiful flower arrangement from them in the mail and it nearly brought me to tears.
For a complete stranger to honour someone like me and my struggles showed me that you are truly never alone.
Living in such a large city and province with such a huge population of people who are living with cancer, it is easy to sometimes see yourself as a number in the system. It was wonderful to see such a great company in the community who sees everyone as a person. Like the card I received from them that stated, “together we can”, I believe that together (as a community) we really can overcome cancer!” says Robin. 

As someone who has been impacted by cancer this year, how have you been supported by your community during the COVID-19 pandemic? Share with us stories or anecdotes of how you were supported by a fellow Albertan during your cancer journey – it could be a loved one, friend, your neighbour, a health care worker or even a stranger! Click here to share your story.