For Amanda Davison, her connection to cancer is both personal and professional. She is the Executive Director of Cancer Research & Analytics (CR&A) at Cancer Care Alberta (Alberta Health Services). She co-leads a team of seasoned researchers who study everything related to cancer; from how cancer grows and progresses in the body, designing more targeted treatment, how best to support patients and their families and caregivers, to how they can better prevent cancer and detect it earlier throughout the whole population.
They also have expert data analysts who have the knowledge and experience to examine and interpret the vast and complex nature of cancer. They study trends in different cancers, track how the health system is being used, and support researchers as they work to better understand, diagnose and treat the disease.
“The overall goal that drives each of us every day, is to improve the care and outcomes of people facing cancer here, and to reduce its burden on Albertans,” says Amanda.
Amanda considers herself fortunate to have worked with Cancer Care Alberta over the last decade, however, it was only in this past year that it became personal to her and she truly realized the impact of losing a loved one to cancer. Amanda lost her godmother, Karen Ferguson, after an aggressive cancer diagnosis.
“She was one of the most important people in my world and I miss her every day. For me, the sudden loss highlighted the real pain and suffering that so many families in Alberta encounter on a daily basis,” recalls Amanda.
Amanda believes in the power of Alberta Cancer Foundation donors as she closely witnesses how important it is to invest in research and innovation. She felt that giving back to the Foundation would be a way to channel her efforts and make a difference in the lives of Albertans facing cancer, and she went on to becoming a fundraising extraordinaire.
This inspired her and her colleagues to start a fundraising team at their office and participate in the Albertans Helping Albertans Virtual 5K hosted by the Alberta Cancer Foundation in support of the 17 cancer centers across Alberta
“We started the Accelerometers team in 2020 when we were working remotely but wanted a way to still stay connected. This year we had more than 30 members from our team who joined!” notes Amanda.
Her advice for those looking to start a fundraising team is to have fun with it and making sure that the members are genuinely passionate and want to make an impact.
Sharing her experience with participating and fundraising for the Virtual 5K, Amanda recalls:
“For the 2021 Virtual 5km, I decided to walk at least 5km each day in the month of May. This felt like a beautiful way to remember my godmother and help process my grief. Losing someone during a pandemic has been really difficult because our normal practices of gathering together aren’t possible. Each day, my walk felt like a great way to remember her and I looked forward to the fresh air. There were days when I walked alone and other days my husband, 3 daughters and I did the walk together. In total, I walked over 180kms during the month in the sun, rain, wind and even snow!”
We sincerely thank Amanda for her constant support and contribution to our organization. Albertans helping Albertans, it’s what we do.
Amanda has been one of the top fundraisers for the Albertans Helping Albertans Virtual 5K and has also been a long-time donor for the Alberta Cancer Foundation, along with her team members. The combined total that the Accelerometers team has raised in 2020 and 2021 so far is approximately $25,000.