Many throughout Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows will remember Darlene for her countless years involved with local Girl Guides. Others will remember her as Dee from her 16 years at Home Hardware answering home improvement questions.
In September 2002 Dee was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This was almost one year to the day after her own mother passed away from pancreatic cancer after a 20 year long battle.
Each day Dee would travel from her home in Pitt Meadows to the Cancer Centre in Surrey for chemotherapy treatment. This was a grueling ordeal for her considering the cancer had made her highly susceptible to motion sickness and nausea, combined with the already well known effects of chemotherapy. Because of this Dee could not drive herself and had to depend on family, friends, and volunteers. On occasion she would miss treatments, due to either being unable to arrange transportion or unable to bear the discomfort of travel.
The conditions and effects of the treatments combined with the fact the doctors deemed the treatment to be having no positive effects on the cancer, ultimately lead to treatment being discontinued.
As the cancer progressed and her condition worsened, in February of 2003 Dee was admitted to Surrey Memorial Hospital. She was admitted in Surrey due to a lack of space in the palliative care unit at Ridge Meadows Hospital. In mid March 2003 Dee was transferred to Ridge Meadows. The Palliative care unit was not best place for Dee, the ideal place would have been the McKenney Creek Hospice Facility, however this facility did not exist at the time. Despite this Dee did however receive support from Hospice in the form of the wonderful Hospice volunteers who would visit and sit with her for hours.
Dee passed away due to the cancer April 8th 2003.
After her death, because of money raised by the Headshave, Ridge Meadows Hospital acquired the equipment that would have provided Dee her treatment locally instead of in Surrey. More recently, also in part because of money raised by the Headshave, Ridge Meadows Hospital now has the equipment that would have allowed Dee to have received her treatment in her own home.
My name is Allen and I am the “HEADSHAVE for CANCER” organizer and a headshave participant. Dee was my mother.