A diagnosis of cancer was the last thing he expected.
Walter Craig, a mathematics professor in Hamilton, had difficulty urinating while travelling to an international congress in Asia in 2014. Upon his return, Walter visited his doctor and underwent testing, which led to shocking news.
“Being diagnosed with prostate cancer was extremely difficult,” Walter recalls. “I was 60 years old and it filled me with uncertainty about how much time I had left to spend with my wife and daughter.”
Walter underwent nearly five months of chemotherapy to control the spread of cancer cells.
At the time of his diagnosis, he was the director of a prestigious institute for mathematical research in Toronto. Walter stepped down from the directorship to focus more on his treatment, but he continues to work as a mathematics professor, researcher, and lecturer, travelling to conferences around the world.
“It was important for me to live my life as normally as possible,” he says. “I didn’t want to retire or to be passive. I wanted to support my family and to continue doing the work I love.”
Unfortunately the cancer had started to spread. He is now receiving treatment with oral medication, radiation and a monthly injection to reduce the level of testosterone in his body.
“Our journey with cancer has changed our perspective on many things,” says Walter’s wife, Deirdre Haskell, who is also a mathematics professor. “More than ever, we appreciate our time together. We are extremely grateful for the excellent care at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre (JHCC), which makes this possible.”
“Donor support is vital because it helps to fund research projects that can benefit patients”
While Walter’s treatment continues, he is proud to share his story as a Patient Ambassador for Illuminight, a new fundraising event in support of Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre Foundation that will be held on October 26, 2018.
“Research at JHCC is so important because it leads to innovative ideas and new techniques in cancer care,” says Walter. “It is part of an international network of cancer research, bringing current technological advances to patients in Hamilton such as myself. Donor support is vital because it helps to fund research projects that can benefit patients in a similar situation as my own into the future.”
Visit hamiltonhealth.ca/illuminight to register for Illuminight. All participants must register online in advance.