We are honoured that Nick and Selma have offered to share their story to show how your gift touches the lives of people with cancer.

Our GivingTuesday campaign goal is to raise $20,000. Please give the gift of cancer wellness by donating generously. Your gift will be matched by our campaign partner, Laurentide Controls. Thank you.


We were a young, healthy couple in our late thirties both from the West Island, building our careers and planning our future together when we were suddenly blindsided by a double cancer diagnosis.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2018 and Nick was diagnosed with colon cancer mere weeks later in July. We were in shock, scared, and dreaded the long battle ahead of us.


Life changed irrevocably for us. We went from being active, travelling together, spending time with our friends and families, and exploring our surroundings to wondering “How can we possibly take care of each other when both of us will be sick? Will we lose each other? We’ve just started our lives together!”

We decided to both receive our treatments at The Jewish General Hospital.  It’s a surreal experience seeing your partner sitting across from you connected to a chemo IV. You want nothing more than to hold them and soothe their pain, but realize you can’t because you’re hooked up to your own chemo machine.

Every morning, we’d look at each other’s multiple surgical scars – Nick’s chemo pump, Selma’s bald head – and ask, “Is this real?”

Selma helped me stay calm to process the anger that surfaced with my cancer. We formed a “cancer team” and helped each other through all the physical and mental pain that came with fighting this brutal disease.

– Nick

During treatment, Nick told me I was beautiful every day, even though I had no hair, no eyebrows, was swollen from steroids, and looked nothing like the woman he fell in love with.


When we were told about the WICWC, we decided to join after seeing first-hand the wide variety of activities available to support an integrated, healing approach through mind, body, and spirit. We tried many different activities: painting, meditation, energy healing, massages, yoga and counselling (Selma) and Reiki, massages, osteopathy, reflexology and yoga (Nick). As neither of us were able to work, we are forever grateful for the services that were only possible through the help of generous donors.


The Centre was a place where we could get away from the daily challenges of traditional medicine and be surrounded by a community of people who understood what it meant to live with cancer.


Our advice to newly-diagnosed patients would be to not travel this difficult path alone. Without the Centre in our lives over the past 17 months, we truly believe we wouldn’t have healed as well as we have. The West Island Cancer Wellness Centre is a vibrant sanctuary sustained by compassionate volunteers who together create a nourishing, family environment filled with love, hope and courage.


To this day, we still can’t believe that both of us were stricken with cancer at nearly the same time. In fighting it as a couple, the cancer brought us closer together and forged a bond between us that most people likely will not understand nor, hopefully, should they ever have to.