David was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 1994; he was only 54 years old. Over the next 10 years, he had TURBT’s, BCG treatments and tumours removed from his urethra. In 2005 he had a radical cystectomy with an ileal conduit reconstruction. He credits an amazing medical team with his survival. “I owe my life to modern medicine and the skill and devotion of my medical team,” he notes with gratitude, more than 20 years after his diagnosis.
But David saw a need for more support for bladder cancer patients and their families, “When I was first diagnosed, I couldn’t find another bladder cancer patient to talk to – it was scary and lonely,” he recalls.
In 2009, David and fellow bladder cancer patient, Jack Moon, founded Bladder Cancer Canada (BCC). His vision for BCC then and today is quite simple, as he explains, “I hope Bladder Cancer Canada will assist others on this journey to be more informed and confident of their future.”
David is from Montreal and has a degree in Agricultural Science from McGill University. He spent much of his career working for large corporations in Canada and internationally and then, in 1982, he started his own marketing company – Starboard Marketing Services, handling big name clients like Ford, Rolex, Dell and GE. In 2000, he sold the company and became a financial advisor.
He and his wife Marilyn have a large combined family that includes six grandchildren. Their family getaway is a cottage in Muskoka where they enjoy swimming canoeing and kayaking. David calls the cottage his "healing place". Some things have changed since bladder cancer became part of his life, says David. “But most importantly, the love of family and friends has grown deeper and more meaningful.”
David stepped down as the Chair of Bladder Cancer Canada in December of 2015, but remains an active member of the Board of Directors. He is pleased that BCC remains in the capable hands of current Chair, Ferg Devins, and he will continue to provide support and input to the organization.