Back to Blog

Charles’ Story of Hope

Inspire Health Event Calendar December 20, 2019

Being newly diagnosed with cancer turned my world upside down. What was up is now down, what was left is now right. I live in North Vancouver with my wife, Karina, and three young children. I followed my heart and not my wallet. I worked for VANOC for six years and went to Prague when Vancouver was awarded the Olympic Games. Someone sent me a posting to this little, privately held company, and I have been there for nine years.

It was between Christmas and New Year’s that I was feeling a little off and I thought I would have an early night. I pulled the blanket up to my chin and as I turned the lights off, I looked up at the ceiling and shut my eyes. When I opened them, I was looking up at a different ceiling and my wife, Karina, was not in bed next to me but was in a chair beside me.  I said, “Karina, what is going on?” She said, “Charles, you are at Lions Gate Hospital. You had a seizure in the middle of the night.” One of the neurosurgeons told me I had a grade two brain tumour. They removed most of it.

Being a lawyer, I have always had stress, but I have never had medical stress. I have never had a chronic illness where my life was at stake. I felt a little uneasy, but I thought, “I got this.”

I walk my kids to school and I did this for a few days. As they were heading in to the school, I gave them a hug. When I turned, there was a school bus and I looked at these seventh-graders and their parents standing there. I thought, “Am I going to be one of those parents that is going to have the opportunity to put my kids on the bus when they get older?” That’s when I knew things weren’t all okay – that I when I told myself, “I got this” that I didn’t and I hadn’t.

During one of my early appointments with my oncologist, he told me about InspireHealth and that they offered some good programs that might be right for me.  When I go to a meditation class or tai chi class at InspireHealth, they are there for me. InspireHealth is giving me the ability to level set. I have cancer but I am living with it.

It’s coming up on five years since this adventure began and every six months, I have an MRI and to date everything looks great.

InspireHealth is like a cozy blanket. At night, I give my son a snuggle and as I go out the door, he says, “Daddy, can you shut the doors to my closet?” I ask why and he says, “There are shapes and shadows.” I shut the doors and he says, “Thanks, daddy.” InspireHealth shuts those closet doors at night for me. InspireHealth was and is my north star.


Charles Hotel, Patient
Vancouver, BC