facebook pixel Skip to main content


From treatment to treadmill: Why one Newmarket man is running for Southlake

Alex is not one to sit down and let life pass him by, even when stage three esophageal cancer tried to slow him down.

A member of the Newmarket community for nearly 20 years and father of two teenagers, Alex was having dinner with a friend in April 2023 when he noticed he was having trouble swallowing. He went to the doctor and learned a kiwi-sized tumour was blocking his esophagus – something he never could have expected.

That discovery started Alex on his cancer journey, beginning with six weeks of daily radiation and weekly chemotherapy, as well as an esophagectomy—surgery to remove the tumour and rebuild his esophagus. Alex not only had to navigate the challenges of cancer treatment, but at 51, he had to learn how to eat again.

For so many, the journey would have been overwhelming. For Alex, it was a challenge to be overcome.

“My care team told me recovery would be up to 10 days in the hospital. I was out in six, which was unheard of. I’m not one to sit around. I was doing laps every morning and walking about the ward as much as I could. I even challenged another patient to see who could do the most laps!”

Post-surgery, doctors found two lymph nodes that were cause for concern, so Alex is currently doing weekly chemotherapy treatment at Southlake as a result. Being a restless person, he spends the treatment hours walking around the systemic therapy area, getting his steps in. Its why, when the 2024 Nature’s Emporium Run for Southlake came around this year, Alex’s social worker asked him to join the “Cancer Centre Cruisers” team.

“It was an instant yes,” affirms Alex.

Participating in the Nature’s Emporium Run for Southlake is not only a way for Alex to thank all the nurses, doctors, staff, and volunteers who are supporting him through his cancer journey, but also a way to ensure future cancer patients at Southlake receive the same incredible care he has received.

In between receiving weekly systemic therapy treatments, Alex is at the gym three times a week, running and training for the 5km race on Sunday, April 28. He’s already kicked off his fundraising, raising $900, and has plans to activate his network to make his fundraising go even further to help patients like him.

“It seems overwhelming at first but once you get started, it’s easy going,” says Alex. “Don’t underestimate the kind-hearted people out there who will be inspired by your Southlake story.  Everyone has one, and mine is still ongoing.  Start with family and friends and as people talk, others will come together to support you.”

Join Alex in supporting leading edge care, close to home, by driving your fundraising efforts this spring, inspiring your network through your own Southlake story. Get started at runforsouthlake.ca.