Esophogeal cancer: it’s a little known disease which is on the rise.
And it claimed the life of Gary Smith in 2007.
Friends and family will gather at 10:30 this morning in Coquitlam to remember a man who was taken too soon.
Smith was a natural athlete – he was a part of Canada’s national men’s basketball team and went on to coach at the high school level.
But in 2005, he began suffering from chronic heartburn and back pain, two little known symptoms which eventually led to him being diagnosed with esophogeal cancer the next spring.
It eventually claimed his life in only two years.
Today, members of the community will aim to raise awareness at “Gary’s Walk” at Minnekhada Regional Park in Coquitlam, an event which has generated $65,000 in donations.
B.C. Cancer Agency data estimated that in 2014, 285 British Columbians would be diagnosed with the cancer, and 272 would die from it.
Which makes Garry’s Walk that much more important.