Fifty five years ago I was diagnosed with cancer
and began receiving cobalt treatments. Back then that was how cancer was
treated. Over the year’s radiation and chemotherapy replaced cobalt... I
share this with you because nearly every adult Canadian has been touched
one way or another by cancer of one kind or another. Unfortunately, most
people assume cancer is terminal. Most people afflicted just give up.
That is why I want to share with you the story of how my long time
friend and business associate Rina Steuerman reacted when told she had
to undergo surgery for lung cancer...
In her business life Rina was manager of distribution services for
Broadcast News, Toronto. A job she did with remarkable professionalism
and hard bargaining for 25 years, before that she was in the hotel
Rina, a heavy smoker, quit smoking on the spot, underwent extensive
thoracic surgery and months of chemotherapy. After a successful recovery
she knew she had to give back. She became a volunteer at Lung Cancer
Canada and Wellspring using her media talents to write and edit
brochures and newsletters.
She also began
sharing her experience with others as a peer support volunteer on the
Lung Cancer of Canada toll free support line. 888-845-4403 where she
speaks and listens to patients and family members across Canada. In her
spare time she is busy doing professional freelance work for business
clients across North America. The thought of giving up has never entered
her mind. Surviving is in her genes, her parents are holocaust survivors
arriving in Canada as refugees when Rina was only three. Quitting is not
in her vocabulary. When I asked her advice she replied.
“ Dick, the only advice I can give anyone
diagnosed with a serious illness is NEVER GIVE UP. But give yourself up
to the hardest journey you will embark on with the remarkable and
dedicated doctors and nurses you’ll meet in your fight. It’s OK to cry.
And for once in you life it is really all about you."
Rina Steuerman’s inspiring words and actions are a
beacon urging everyone to never give up the fight.
She is another Canadian Achiever.
Read more about Rina at