Cancer Survivor Turns Cancer Information Specialist

By: News Canada

(NC)-When callers to the Canadian Cancer Society's information service connect with Isabelle Wilson, they're talking to someone who's been there herself.

The Christmas of 1997 was turned upside down for the Montreal mother of three. Days before the holiday she learned she had a rare tumour on her left lung. The lung was removed on Christmas Eve. Wilson was a 30-year-old non-smoker and had a six-month-old baby at home. Even her doctors were stunned.

"Everything went so fast," she says. "I didn't know what was happening to me."

Worse, Wilson had to recuperate during the infamous ice storm, which knocked out power and heat to her home for days.

Eventually she turned to the Canadian Cancer Society's information service for support and help in understanding her condition. It was a life-changing call. Three years later, Wilson joined the service herself.

"Knowing there was a professional there who was with me and researching this disease too meant a lot. I felt a lot less isolated," says Wilson, a biologist and former health services worker. "One morning I woke up and said, 'I have to do this job.'"

The service is Canada's toll-free bilingual source of cancer information. Trained and caring specialists provide information about cancer and community resources. This helps newly diagnosed patients and their families understand their condition and act as informed members of their healthcare team.

When you want to know more about cancer, call the Canadian Cancer Society's information service at 1 888 939-3333 or e-mail info@cis.cancer.ca.

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