Dane Gibson is a dear, dear friend of ours. He is an exceptional, caring and loving human being who has unfortunately been dealt an exceptionally bad hand.
Dane’s situation is extremely grave. But, we have hope, there is always hope.
After having gone through six months of radiation and later a full year of chemotherapy to fight off Hodgkin’s Disease as a teenager in the 80s, then in 2012 as an adult having his left kidney removed due to kidney cancer, Dane’s kidney cancer returned in 2017 and this time it’s looking particularly bad. Dane has the poorest prognosis as the cancer has now metastasised to his brain, remaining kidney, adrenal gland, lymph nodes and lungs. At stage 4, kidney cancer is incurable.
We are dumbfounded by this bad luck and wonder why this is happening to our dear friend. We want to do something to help him and his family which is why a group of us came up with this GoFundMe page. For those of you that don’t know Dane, or need a refresher, here is a brief introduction.
Born in Calgary in 1969 Dane worked and lived in Calgary, Victoria, Chilliwack, Dawson Creek, Yellowknife, Gabriola Island, and now resides in Nanaimo. Dane has a wonderful sense of humour, huge warm heart, loves sharing big meals with his family and friends with lots of laughter and good conversation. He loves music and reading and is a superb writer. He loves goofing off with the boys but also has a strong sensitive side.
There is something special about Dane. He is always so generous with his energy, his knowledge and his time. Serious and profound when called for, lighthearted and relaxed on other occasions. Perhaps his experience with cancer as a teenager made his heart bigger than normal, and helped shape his unique views on life?
After graduating from University of Victoria in 1998 with a Political Science and Writing degree, Dane worked as a local newspaper and radio man and communications advisor for most of his career. He worked in Yellowknife, NWT, for 11 years after being hired by Northern News Services and later running his own business on behalf of the Dene creating monthly newspapers and radio programs for several First Nation communities. He managed a non-profit aboriginal radio and TV station as Executive Director of the Native Communications Society of the NWT and worked for the Government of the NWT. His family then moved to Gabriola Island, BC, from where he provided communications consulting and stay-at- home-dad services while Corrie worked. For the last two years he and his family have been living in Nanaimo, BC, where he was working as a Communications Officer for Vancouver Island University. He has been on disability from VIU since June.
While in Yellowknife he met and in 2008 married his beautiful wife Corrie. Another amazing part of Dane’s story is how Baraka became their son. When it became clear, due to the chemo he endured as a teenager, that Dane would not be fathering his own children he and Corrie decided to adopt. This resulted in them eventually staying in Kenya for eight months in 2012 as part of the process to adopt their amazing, energetic, beautiful boy, Baraka. One month into their stay in Kenya, Dane had to make a trip back to Canada to have his cancerous kidney removed. He did this without any complaints, just took it in stride as only Dane can do. While he had five years of clear scans after the kidney removal, we find ourselves where we are today.
He probably will resist this effort. He is proud and would never want to be considered a charity case and he would never ask for help himself. But we know Dane and we know he isn’t thinking about himself but what’s best for Corrie and Baraka. As many will know, Dane has overcome huge challenges in his life and has inspired many of us with his courage and wit. Dane, Corrie and Baraka are such an amazing family - making all of us laugh with their antics and they also make us shed beautiful tears of gratitude for what joy, peace and hope they have brought into our lives.
So many of us live far away from Dane, Corrie and Baraka and want to support them directly in some way. A few of us thought that contributing financially to their well-being as a family would be a good thing, and as we discussed with friends across the country (and the globe) it became apparent that we aren't alone in our wish to support this amazing family.
Dane is a young 48-year-old man and has many years to go before retirement age. Years that he would have spent earning an income to pay off the mortgage, paying for Baraka’s education, and supporting the family. Given his past cancer and health issues, it is highly unlikely Dane was eligible for life insurance. That is why we are doing this fundraising campaign. We hope we can alleviate some of the worry we are sure he feels about the well-being of Corrie and Baraka.
The funds will go directly to Dane and Corrie so they can decide as a family what's most important to them. The idea is to put something aside for Corrie and Baraka to fall back on. Perhaps their roof will need to be replaced, payments for dog walking services, or the many trips to Vancouver he takes for scans and treatments or costs of the supplements he needs – the list is endless. Let’s help alleviate some of their immense burden.
We are all so appreciative of every prayer, every thought, every contribution to this family. Thank you for considering this campaign!
- Andrew Rennison
- Leela & Darrel Mack
- Shamim Ahad
Organizer and beneficiary
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