I am a cancer doctor at the Tom Baker Cancer Center and served as one of the main doctors taking care of Althea’s husband, Trevor, for about a year through what was ultimately a fatal illness. The work that I do provides me with insights into the true mettle of my patients and their families under the most difficult circumstances that can be imagined. And through that lens Trevor and Althea proved to be an amazing couple from whom I learned a great deal about life and courage. I don’t think I ever saw Trevor without Althea at his side. They gave us their trust but Althea always asked the challenging questions; not confrontationally but rather to be informed and allow them to make wise decisions. And their decisions were indeed wise and guided by common sense, insight and clear thinking about the future of their family. Through all of this and after Trevor’s passing Althea always had the time and energy to invest in and protect the welfare of their young sons.
Althea does not complain when things don’t work. She looks for solutions. Althea has repeatedly shown me that she translates her own experiences and challenges with “the system” into opportunities to better her whole community.
On even the biggest issues Althea asks how she can help and then shows up with the “A team” to try and deliver on her offers. I am amazed at the people she can mobilize and bring onto her team.
I really like Altheas’ kids. She has kept them grounded in the most difficult situation a family could face.
Althea is a strong advocate. More importantly her advocacy is based upon careful observation, questioning and synthesis of information.
Christopher B Brown, MD FRCP(C)
Professor of Medicine,
University of Calgary
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