Who Was Gary?

Gary Smith

A brief history of Gary

Gary Smith was a healthy, esteemed athlete in his 50s who was a gold-medal winning basketball player in the World Masters Men’s Basketball League and a player on the Canadian National Men’s Basketball team when he was young. He was also a respected high school basketball coach and high school principal.

For more than a decade, Gary suffered from chronic heartburn and remedied it with non-prescription antacids. In December 2005, Gary started suffering from back pain, a symptom that would be diagnosed as esophageal cancer four months later by Dr. Brock Pullen at Royal Columbian Hospital. Sadly, Gary passed away in September 2007 at the age of 60.

What’s new?

For the month of April, 2021 we have decided to do a virtual walk to accommodate the covid limitations.
virtual walk is a real walk, but on your terms: You get choose your own course, what time you start, and who walks next to you! The walking is real—it’s the community that’s virtual
 
To inspire you we have put together a picture collage of activities as well. All we ask is that you post a picture to Gary’s Walk Facebook page or on Twitter @GarysWalk or Instagram [email protected]  using the hashtag below and let us all enjoy your activity. 
 
#garyswalk2021
 
Donating to Gary’s walk is the same.  Just go to RCH Foundation or click on the link on our website. 
This year 2021, RCH will also be buying a new scope with the money raised through Gary’s Walk. This scope will be used for a medical endoscopic procedure called, Argon plasma coagulation (APC). It is used to control bleeding from certain lesions in the gastrointestinal tract and administered during esophagogastroduodenoscopy or colonoscopy. It is an endoscope that sends argon gas with an electric current to heal the lesion.

A history of the walk

In April 2010 a memorial bench was placed in the park and that is when the first walk took place. In September 2010 an article about Gary and the walk was included in the Royal Columbian insert in the Vancouver Sun paper. In April 2011 and 2015 articles were in the local paper about the walk. In 2011 over $30,000 was raised for a scope at the Royal Columbian Hospital. In 2014 two gastroscopes were purchased and in 2017 a transnasal scope was purchased. In addition, an information brochure was published with the help of the Royal Columbian Hospital and was distributed at the walk. In 2016 and 2017 a billboard advertising the walk was set up outside the Royal Columbian hospital. Since 2012 supporters of the Gary Smith Cancer Fund have helped raise over $127,312.00.

All graphics created by Cliff Blank.

Facebook page managed and created by Cliff Blank.