Anthony’s Wish

In appreciation of the support and encouragement he and his family received at Wellspring Chinguacousy, Anthony, who just turned 18, and his mother, Shanita, are organizing “Anthony’s Wish” to raise awareness and funds for the Centre.  “Wellspring’s an amazing place. Volunteers know exactly where you are coming from,” he offers as one of his reasons for undertaking this benefit.

Cancer Journey

Anthony was 15 in 2008 when he was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, a type of bone cancer in his left shoulder.  Doctors wanted to amputate his arm and shoulder to prevent the cancer from spreading, but neither he nor his family wanted this drastic action taken. This made Anthony determined to strengthen his arm and shoulder muscles.

His mom recalled seeing an advertisement for Wellspring Chinguacousy in The Brampton Guardian and made contact. When he and his Mom visited the Centre and learned that Anthony was too young to participate in the exercise program. The Centre Manager obtained special permission to get him enrolled and this allowed Anthony to “build muscle and strengthen my arm and shoulder before my surgery.”

As a result of his determination and persistence his arm was saved.  The tumor, along with some muscle and bone were removed. He was told that he could expect to be out of his hospital bed and walking in about a week’s time.   Not Anthony. The day following surgery he was walking the hall. Both he and his mother attribute this result to Wellspring’s Cancer Exercise Program. “He was so strong after surgery. The surgical staff couldn’t believe he was walking,” recalls Shanita.

Program Benefits

This program meant a lot to Anthony and he wants to see others benefit.  By far the majority of members who trained with him were women who had undergone surgery for breast cancer. “I felt stronger and more confident after speaking with the members. They’d been through the chemo and radiation and gave me advice. I took their advice and it really helped me.” However, he believes that, “It’s about time more guys enroll.”

Shanita shares her son’s sentiments.  “Members and volunteers encouraged him and bolstered his self-esteem and they even contacted him during his recovery.”