On April 24, 2015, I received some news that would change my world. Over brunch at my parents’ home, my father, Dr. Hugh Tildesley, told me that he had been diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer. We all knew the prognosis was ultimately fatal; it was just a question of how much longer would he have to live? Ever the pragmatic optimist, Dad decided not to dwell on the endpoint, but rather focus on this next stage of his life as “A Different Journey”, which became the name of his weekly blog, that he wrote from the time of his diagnosis up until his death eleven months later:
The blog not only showcases a journey of great courage, but truly illustrates the type of man my father was; a positive thinker, a scientific analytic, an historian, an innovator, a critic, a humourist, and a devoted family man.
Throughout my entire life, my Dad was always one of my biggest supporters, mentors, and friends. It was he who put me on skis for the first time at the age of three, and he again who coached me to 4 Paralympic Games and five medals in the sport of swimming. Dad always encouraged me to challenge myself, both in sport as well as in life. While athletically inclined, I’m by no means an avid cyclist. Riding 12 km up a mountain, on a tandem bicycle no less, will definitely be a challenge, and I know it would have made my Dad proud!
The BC Cancer Agency played an integral role in my Dad’s treatment. Dr. Dan Renouf, my Dad’s primary oncologist, was there every step of the way to assist both of my parents in navigating through this journey. It is my goal to raise $5,000, so that more resources can be directed toward new research into pancreatic cancer.
Thank you, Donovan