Big Engines, Big Hearts: Colon Cancer Survivor Will Raise Funds for St. Paul’s at Car Rally

Mar 24, 2016 | News

“My cancer was advanced,” says Darren Pedersen. “To save my life, my large intestine needed to be removed. After realizing I could have died, all I wanted to do was raise awareness. All I wanted was to tell people that early screening can save your life, and that it can certainly save you a major surgery like the one I had.”

Darren and his partner, Leanne Chan, have since become a formidable fundraising and awareness-raising team for colorectal cancer research and care.

Seeing Darren’s post-surgery challenges with food, for example, Leanne wrote a cookbook, with a foreword by Darren’s surgeon at St. Paul’s, Dr. Manoj Raval, whom Darren credits with saving his life. The cookbook is called, “Health the Way Nature Intended: Your complete guide to eating and living well with a stoma.” All proceeds from sales support colorectal cancer research.

In 2014, Darren and Leanne’s fundraising efforts brought $10,000 to the Colorectal Clinic at St. Paul’s, which was used to acquire a Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery Insufflator (TEM), a surgical device which enables minimally invasive procedures that result in much faster recovery times for patients.

“My colleagues and I are deeply indebted to Leanne and Darren,” says Dr. Raval. “They raise money and awareness and, at the same time, inspire others who may want to help. The TEM has a profound impact on patients—and Leanne and Darren made that happen.”

There was also an unexpected discovery that Darren had over the course of his journey of care at the Colorectal Clinic at St. Paul’s...

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