History of Gary’s Walk

Over the last fifteen years, $149,042.00 has been raised in total for RCH. In August 2014 two gastroscopes were purchased for $46,133.00. The first scope is a general gastroscope that is used every day at RCH, to treat acute bleeding from ulcers or varices arising from liver disease. This equipment allows the physician to diagnose and treat the problem all in one procedure by taking biopsies. The second scope is a nasal-jejunal gastroscope. This is a special piece of equipment that is used for patients who cannot be sedated or have illnesses causing strictures which will not allow the use of normal gastroscopes. With newer gastroscopes, physicians are able to obtain higher HD resolution and diagnose illness with greater accuracy.

The third scope purchased in 2017, is a transnasal scope for $38,121.09. It is a thin scope, less than half the size of the conventional EGD scope. It provides excellent visualization of the throat, esophagus, upper stomach, lower stomach and the duodenum (first part of the small intestine). It assists in detecting esophageal masses that may not be detectable with the use of a regular sized scope.

In 2021, RCH purchased an Olympus ESG300 with the generosity of Gary’s Walk supporters. This system is the latest generation of electrosurgical devices designed exclusively for GI and pulmonary, and includes all of the modes and settings required by physicians performing advanced therapeutic procedures including those that may require argon plasma coagulation (APC). To see images of the machine, please visit the Donation Dollars at Work page.


2015 newspaper article

Article published in The Province local paper about Gary’s Walk. It was titled ‘Family Fights Back Against Cancer’

$65,692 has been raised and two scopes were purchased!!

Up until this point $65,692 has been raised for awareness and screening of esophageal cancer at RCH. In August 2014 2 gastroscopes were purchased for $46,133.00

Fifth Annual Walk

April 27th 2014 the Fifth Annual Walk at Minnekhada

New E-newsletter created and Gary’swalk on twitter

A new e-newsletter was created by Cliff Blank to invite guests to the walk and inform them of where previous donations have gone. Gary’swalk was also created on Twitter by Cliff Blank

Over $40,000 raised up until this point

Over the last four years over $40,000 was raised for equipment that would detect cancer at RCH.

Fourth Annual Walk

April 28th 2013 the Fourth Annual Walk at Minnekhada

Another $12,000 raised for a new scope

June 7th 2012 another $11,929.00 was given to Royal Columbian Hospital. More money that will be put towards the purchase of a gastroscopic radial ultrasound scope in the future

Third Annual Walk

May 6th was the Third Annual Walk at Minnekhada

Interviewed on Global BC News

Global News Interviewed the Smith family and posted the news clip on Health Headline on Heartburn on May 2, 2012

Website and Facebook Page Created

Website and Facebook Page created by Cliff Blank

Jay Triano Radio Announcement

Feb 27th Jay Triano- former head coach of NBA’s Toronto Raptors, made a radio announcement about the signs and symptoms of Esophageal Cancer. It was broadcasted on local Bell Media radio stations.

$27,000 raised for RCH scope

Over $27,000 was raised and will go towards the purchase of gastroscope in the future to detect cancer at the Royal Columbian Hospital.

Second Annual Walk

April 17th was the Second Annual Walk at Minnekhada

RCH Published an Educational Pamphlet

Royal Columbia Hospital along with Fraser Health published a ‘What you need to know about Esophageal Cancer’ pamphlet. It has Gary’s story on the back and was distributed to medical offices around BC

2011 newspaper article

Article published in the local paper about Gary’s Walk.

Vancouver Sun article

An article about Gary and the walk was included in the Royal Columbian insert in the Vancouver Sun paper.

First Annual Walk

April 25th was the First Annual Walk at Minnekhada

Memorial bench is installed

A memorial bench was placed in the park.

BC Basketball Hall of Fame

Gary was inducted into the British Columbia Basketball Hall of Fame