Volunteer Spotlight: Kyle Heemskerk

Our volunteers play a vital role in creating more moments for Albertans facing cancer. By helping at events, or offering their professional talents in our offices, their hard work allows us to invest more time and effort into our vision of a cancer-free future.

There are no words to say how much our volunteers, our donors, and their continued support mean to us. We are so grateful for their commitment and would like to thank them for their contribution.

Kyle Heemskerk is one of our valued volunteers at our Calgary office. He has been volunteering with the Foundation since June 2020 and has dedicated over 50 hours of his time to support our Mission Investment and Strategic Partnerships department. This month we would like to recognize him for his hard work and commitment.

Kyle is a cancer researcher who received a summer studentship from the Alberta Cancer Foundation. This motivated him to reach out and find ways to get more involved in supporting Albertans facing cancer.

“My interest in cancer research stems from an inherent curiosity in cancer biology and a history of cancer in my family. My grandmother has had melanoma for over 20 years and my grandfather had 11 siblings, 7 of whom had or passed away from cancer, including him. My grandmother was heavily involved with multiple cancer-oriented foundations, which also motivated me to volunteer with the Alberta Cancer Foundation,” says Kyle.

As a volunteer, Kyle is responsible for helping with file re-structuring and turning paper-based documents into digital formats, which has been particularly important to the Mission Investment department as they work with limited access to the office.

“Kyle has been great to work with and to get to know. As our team is so small and the job is so large, having Kyle’s help has brought our stress levels to a manageable range,” says James Yip, Senior Investment Officer, Mission Investment & Strategic Partnerships at the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

“He is reliable, professional and a great communicator. A top-notch volunteer and we are grateful to have him support us,” says Megan Lee, Kyle’s supervisor and Director, Mission Investment & Strategic Partnerships at the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

Through his experience volunteering at our office, Kyle has learned more about the business side of cancer research and the work that goes into supporting researchers across the province.

“I never realized how much work goes into helping researchers like myself. This experience has taught me to value the work I do even more, and the impact it can make on those facing cancer. I have also never worked in an office before, so getting to work with some of the talented professionals at the Foundation has taught me more about professionalism and the business side of cancer research. Overall, I now have a broader understanding of some of the issues those affected by cancer face and can think about ways we can solve them in the near future,” says Kyle.

Kyle has also volunteered as an usher at our Albertans Helping Albertans drive-in movie screenings and hockey nights at the Calgary Stampede Grounds during the summer of 2020.

When Kyle isn’t conducting research or volunteering, you can find him hiking, camping and backcountry skiing. His favourite place to visit in Alberta is Kananaskis Country, where he hopes to learn how to fly fish this summer.

Volunteers like Kyle make it possible for the Foundation to support Albertans facing cancer. We are grateful to him and our group of dedicated volunteers for their passion and commitment.