The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada, Prairies Region, is proud to introduce the Executive Leadership Committee responsible for enhancing and accelerating the Light The Night Walk in Calgary (Oct 19) to fund groundbreaking research and advance blood cancer cures.
Emily Sztabzyb, Corporate Walk Chair
Sebastian Sztabzyb, Honourary Chair
Owners, Phil & Sebastian Coffee
Emily Sztabzyb has been deeply involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC) since her husband Sebastian’s diagnosis of non-hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) back in 2007. The diagnosis came just weeks after the birth of their first child and the opening of Sebastian’s first cafe; Phil & Sebastian Coffee. Once the initial shock gave way to the determination to fight, Sebastian and Emily plunged headfirst into the battle towards remission. The years of treatment, although fraught with difficulties, also brought them great personal happiness as they strove to create meaning and to seize the parts of their lives which brought them joy. The expansion of the cafe and the growth of their family clearly proved to Emily and Sebastian that cancer would not define their future. In addition to raising their three children, Emily is a fitness instructor at Lagree YYC and teaches Pilates and HIGH Fitness at GO Performance Fitness Lab and at the Calgary Jewish Centre. Emily has participated in numerous LLSC events, including Light The Night and Team In Training endurance events like the Disney World Half Marathon, the Nike Women’s 15km in Toronto, the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in New Orleans, and the Zion National Park Hike. She is currently training and fundraising towards for the Lake Tahoe 100 mile bike, taking place in June 2019.
Certified Financial Planner, RBC Dominion
Fifteen years ago Amy Cadman was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). She can still remember the words coming out of her doctor’s mouth… ‘You may have leukemia,’ in that moment she looked at her sister and just knew her life was about to change. Amy had experienced amazing care from her doctors and nurses at the Tom Baker Cancer center. She also had a good support system to help her through all her ups and downs with treatment. Now that she is a mother of two she reflects on the journey that she took years ago. “I now have more perspective on how incredibly fortunate I am to have my ‘bonus’ years. I want to help raise more awareness and funding to support developments in treatment so that someone else can maybe receive their own ‘bonus’ years.”
Senior Surface Land Coordinator, Enerplus
Kevin is a family man, him and his wife Leighan have two boys ages 17 and 20. The 20-year-old is taking digital design in the fall and the 17-year-old is an AA hockey player who’s graduating this June. Kevin and his family spend many of their free time watching hockey and traveling to hot spots like Big Valley in the winter. His hobbies include the ski days at Sunshine and camping and ATV’ing in the summer. Kevin became involved with LLSC when his company took part in the Light The Night Walk as a corporate team. That year Kevin was assigned the team captain role. “I embraced the challenge of raising a good amount of money and doubling our participation numbers year over year.”
Jeffrey (Jeff) Follett
Jeff has been married to the love of his life Janice for 36 years. Together they have two beautiful daughters and two grandchildren. They have lived in Calgary for the past 20 years and originated from a small town near Ottawa called Smiths Falls. Jeff has a diploma in Civil Engineering Technology from St. Lawrence College and a Master of Business Administration degree from Queens University. Jeff has spent the majority of his career in the telecommunications industry developing wireless network infrastructure. He has recently semi-retired performing PM/CM consulting and construction services. Jeff’s involvement with LLSC dates back to 2014 when he and his family participated in the Light The Night Walk, as team ‘Holy Walkamolies.’ The driving force behind this was Jeff’s desire to learn as much as possible about blood cancers, the LLSC as an organization, and to assist in fundraising in any small way he could. “This was to some extent was self-serving as I had received the news earlier that year that some of the peculiar symptoms that I had been having on and off for about 18 months were indeed due to the early onset of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).” Today, Jeff is in the ‘watch and wait’ phase of the diagnosis and overall in good health. “I feel very fortunate each and every day and as a result I want to do even more for LLSC to help support their efforts to find cures for blood cancers.”
President, Horizon Heating Ltd.
Matthew Kramer is the president of Horizon Heating Ltd, a Calgary based heating, ventilation & air conditioning service and construction company. He is the second generation owner of Horizon, having purchased the company from his family after his father passed away from acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in the fall of 2007. Matthew first became involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada through the Team in Training program after looking at a way to get involved after his father's illness. Matthew participated in the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in the spring of 2008 and through that connection discovered the Light The Night Walk. After that first walk he quickly came on board as a volunteer and his company Horizon Heating Ltd has been a corporate sponsor and team participant every year since. "The Light The Night Walk is an amazing event where friends, family and colleagues rally in support for those that are affected by blood cancers. We are raising funds for patient services and for groundbreaking research being done right here in Canada."
Director of Financial Planning and Analysis, FYI Doctors, FCA, FCPA, CBV
Gord McFarlane is the Director of Financial Planning and Analysis at FYI doctors. He was previously the Regional Director – Southern Alberta & Okanagan Valley for the CFO Centre. He retired from Grant Thornton LLP after a 30 year career, where he was the Regional Managing Partner for Western Canada and a member of the firm’s National Management Committee. He was also the first National Managing Partner of the firm’s Advisory Services across Canada. Gord is a FCA, FCPA and a Chartered Business Valuator. Gord is the treasurer and a board member of the HomeSpace Society, a non-profit organization providing housing for Calgary’s homeless. He is the past chair of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and currently a trustee of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra Foundation. Gord is also on the National Board for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada and is the treasurer. Gord was diagnosed with prolymphocytic leukemia in 2015 and began treatment immediately, which included a successful stem cell transplant from his donor, his sister.
PFP, FMA, Financial Planner, Investment & Retirement Planning, RBC
For Kent, cancer came at 42, in the middle of enjoying family life and a successful career. In 2008, two years after the initial diagnosis, Kent began treatment – nearly 10 rounds of chemotherapy that put him in remission. Two years later, the cancer returned, leaving him to weather multiple blood transfusions and another series of grueling chemotherapy treatments that failed to beat his cancer, and ultimately he developed aplastic anemia. “I remember being told I needed a bone marrow transplant,” says Kent. “All I could think about was the daunting task of finding a donor and a match for me. I thought to myself – how long before they give up on me?” Failed treatments left Kent physically exhausted and a search for the bone marrow donor shattered his positive attitude and spirit. Remarkably, his luck soon changed as a suitable donor was identified. “As a survivor of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and having benefited in a very big way from the research funded by LLSC including advances in bone marrow and stem cell transplant technology; I feel it is my privilege and responsibility to give back in some small way.”
Home Building Industry
Heather Cockerline has over 10 years in the development and home building industry. Heather is using her extensive knowledge of the journey of home building to guide and influence the industry to a more holistic planning approach that is collaborative, proactive and evidence based; creating a new standard of excellence for North American developers to reimagine and deliver complete communities. Heather is a true ‘people person’ with a passion for customer experience. Seeing happy, healthy, thriving people living their best life possible is what drives her to challenge the status quo, working at all sectors and levels, including the municipal government level, to ensure every resident feels a sense of belonging. Heather feels strongly about helping in the community and is actively engaged with many charities. Personally, Heather spends a great deal of time with friends and hanging out with her husband Jay and adorable mastiff, Duke. She spends her summers camping, doing motocross and watching baseball.
Sharon Van Wert
Alberta Health Services, Technical Practice Leader
Prior to June 2018 Sharon had never heard of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada. Actually, she had never even met someone who had blood cancer. That all changed when her 18 year old daughter Rachel went to a walk-in clinic in Medicine Hat because of bruising on her legs and an odd rash. Four hours later Sharon heard the words no parent should ever hear ‘Rachel, you have leukemia’. Sharon’s world changed in a heartbeat. Her and her family moved to Calgary and are now settling into the routine of being Rachel’s army, keeping Rachel healthy and happy. “Our family has become stronger and closer as we are faced with this slight detour Rachel’s life has made. I found the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada early on in our journey. Cancer survivors would reach out to our family, informing us about resources available to us. Through the LLSC we have found support, friendship and a feeling of being able to give back. I have raised my daughters to have the volunteer spirit and I am thankful to have the opportunity to play a part in making Light The Night 2019 a huge success.”
Monique Maglalang and Karen Elaine
UFCW Local 401 Members
Karen and Monique are UFCW members and LLSC Ambassadors. This is their third year on the Calgary committee; from food donations to being instrumental in starting the Superstore retail campaign, they do it all!
Store Manager Superstore, Deerfoot Meadows Superstore
Kimberley Barre is the Store Manager of the Deerfoot Meadows Superstore. Kimberly became involved with the LLSC and the Light The Night Walk for the first-time in 2018. “The experience of the walk was one I carried with me for a long time. It was both exhilarating and saddening at the same time.” While Kim has not lost anyone personally from Leukemia, She has lost both her Dad and her best friend in the last year from other forms of cancer. Raising awareness and money to help individuals and their families who deal with this terrible disease is something that is near and dear to Kim’s heart. “We all have a loved one or know someone whose family is suffering and I gladly take on the challenge to do my part in helping to ease the pain however I can.”
ID Foods, National Key Account Manager
Andrea has participated in the Light The Night Walk with her friends and family for the past 11 years. In 2008, Andrea was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). “I was an independent person who had done everything right from a health perspective. I had just realized a life-long dream of becoming a mom when 5 months later cancer brought me to my knees. I was determined to fight for myself and my infant daughter.” After 6 months of chemo, radiation and a stem cell transplant (from an anonymous umbilical cord donation) Andrea found the outcome she desired. Andrea explains cancer as a defining journey that surprisingly brought many gifts. “I am here because of the generosity of many and I cannot overstate the incredible care of my doctors and nurses. Back in 2008, I was one of a few who actually successfully survived a stem cell transplant. Today stem cell transplants are more commonly practiced with better success rates. This directly speaks to the impact of funds generated through the walk to improve the longevity of blood cancer patients. I have continued to walk over the years to show my gratitude and give back in some small way. After many years of being a walk participant and fundraiser I want to contribute in another meaningful way and this has brought me to be involved with the Executive Committee.” Andrea has been working in the Packaged Food industry for over 20 years in Calgary and Toronto. Andrea looks forward to lending her hands and heart to the Light The Night Walk this fall.
Store Manager Superstore, Seton
Ricardo de Menezes
UFCW Local 401, Union Labour Relations Officer
Ricardo represents UFCW Local 401. He is passionate about engaging union members and encouraging volunteerism.
Loblaws (Superstore), Senior Director, District Manager