Meet Tony - CanCare Volunteer

For over 5 years, Tony has given up his spare time to provide one-to-one support to 5 people living with cancer. Afternoon tea on Friday’s was always reserved for his patient Verna. Their weekly catch-up over coffee and cake proved to be a highlight of the week for them both, a chance to swap stories and reminisce about 83-year-old Verna’s lifetime of adventures.  As a retired manager and professional drummer, Tony says spending time with patients fuels his life-long love for people.

“I just love to make other people happy, seeing someone’s face light up when you arrive, it’s a very special feeling.”

 “I just love people. When I was working, I had 20 staff and I enjoyed being around people of all ages, all backgrounds, talking to them, hearing their stories. I was also in rock bands for years and that makes you comfortable with getting out and about.” 

After retiring from work to care for his sister, Tony made the decision to volunteer in his spare time. It was during a volunteer shift at St George Hospital that he learned about the CanCare navigator program and decided he could use his own experience with bladder cancer to help others.  

“After having bladder cancer, myself, I know firsthand what the patients are going through. The CanCare environment is special, it’s a place where people can come together, sharing stories, and supporting one another. It’s like family.”

 Tony’s support has ranged from his coffee and cake dates with Verna to running errands for his less mobile patients like Mary. Tony has also helped to arrange transport for patients like Frank, who needed to get to appointments, and even went with them if they needed extra support.

When he is not volunteering, Tony enjoys going for morning walks and filling the apartment he shares with his sister with sweet smells from his latest kitchen experiment.