History of Gary’s Walk

To visit Gary’s bench and raise money for awareness and screening for esophageal cancer! Over the last thirteen years, over $133,000.00 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).

All graphics created by Cliff Blank.

Facebook page managed and created by Cliff Blank.


Mar, 2014

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

May, 2013

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.

Apr, 2013

Fourth Annual Walk

April 28th 2013 the Fourth Annual Walk at Minnekhada

Jun, 2012

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

May, 2012

Third Annual Walk

May 6th was the Third Annual Walk at Minnekhada

May, 2012

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

May, 2012

Website and Facebook Page Created

Website and Facebook Page created by Cliff Blank

Feb, 2012

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.

May, 2011

$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.

Apr, 2011

Second Annual Walk

April 17th was the Second Annual Walk at Minnekhada

Apr, 2011

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

Apr, 2011

2011 newspaper article

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

Sep, 2010

Vancouver Sun article

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

Apr, 2010

First Annual Walk

April 25th was the First Annual Walk at Minnekhada

Apr, 2010

Memorial bench is installed

A memorial bench was placed in the park.

Apr, 2009

BC Basketball Hall of Fame

Gary was inducted into the British Columbia Basketball Hall of Fame

Sep, 2007

Gary Smith passes away

Apr, 2006

Gary is diagnosed with esophageal cancer

Gary is diagnosed with esophageal cancer four months later by Dr. Brock Pullen at Royal Columbian Hospital.

Dec, 2005

Gary suffers from back pain

Gary starts to suffer from back pain symptoms.