Bren Keetch presents a $1

Donating because of help received

Cancer survivor donates to Tour de Rock rider Cst. Steve mMrtindale

A Sooke man is hoping to build awareness on health management after his own personal brush with cancer.

Bren Keetch, 73, received the surprise of his life when he was diagnosed with lung cancer after what he thought would only be knee surgery in February.

“I got diagnosed with cancer in my left lung, purely by accident,” he said.

Following a CT scan, an abnormality in Keetch’s left lung caught the attention of the knee surgeon and technician.

Testing was performed at the Vancouver cancer clinic, and a short two months after his knee surgery, Keetch was wheeled in to remove a majority of his left lung.

“I never thought such a thing would happen to me. I’ve always been in sports and stern with myself, and tried to eat good things,” he said.

Although he is a former smoker, Keetch said the cause behind his diagnosis is still up in the air.

In 1958, Keetch was one of 500 recruits with the Canadian army who were assigned to clean up the Chalk River nuclear plant melt down in Ontario.

“I had four days of going in and out of the main reactor and we were up to our knees in his terrible, terrible waste water,” he said.

“The surgeon isn’t sure whether it was my smoking or whether it is finally that the cancer has celled from the waste water.”

The accidental, but fortunate diagnosis has prompted Keetch to encourage others to seek medical attention if something seems unordinary or awry.

“Cancer is cancer, anybody can get it. Most people think that they’re immune to that kind of stuff, we’re not,” he said, adding his father died of prostate cancer at the age of 61.

“I want the public that is not in the know to get to know, don’t wait till you’re in a casket.”

Now in recovery with a good prognosis, Keetch has also vowed to donate $1,000 to cancer research on the anniversary of his lung surgery each year.

This year, Keetch donated $1,000 to Sooke’s Tour de Rock rider Const. Steven Martindale.

“They could use the money, I can afford it and I thought I’m going to donate money for people who have to go through what I did and what I might have to go through until they cart me off,” he said, adding the annual donations are also a thank you to the thorough care he received from physicians in Vancouver.

“If something happens, I can’t take it with me, so that’s why I’m going to some how thank them for what they were able to do.”

He has also arranged to have all his personal and monetary assets donated to Camp Goodtimes — a camp designated solely for children with cancer — in his will.

“The guy up there doesn’t charge, and the guy down there doesn’t take Visa, so it’s going to the children.”

Just Posted

Man pleads not guilty in 1987 slayings of Victoria couple

William Talbott of SeaTac was arraigned Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court

BC Supreme Court rules in favour of Victoria’s plastic bag ban

Court dismisses a challenge by the Canadian Plastic Bag Association

Officials worry of fire risk at homeless camp

Regina Park camp has grown to 77 tents

Crews search for missing kayaker near Sooke

The person was seen launching their kayak from Beecher Bay on Monday at noon

Forced to flee: public partakes in refugee simulation

Locals go through detailed scenarios in honour of World Refugee Day

Homeless people living on ‘Surrey Strip’ move into modular housing

BC Housing says 160 homeless people are being moved into temporary Whalley suites from June 19 to 21

Port of Prince Rupert names Shaun Stevenson as new CEO

Stevenson has worked for the port for 21 years as vice president of trade development

WEB POLL: Should illegal immigrants be separated from their children?

Should illegal immigrants be separated from their children?… Continue reading

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

Fake attempted abduction not funny to B.C. neighbourhood residents

Two teenage boys won’t face criminal charges after scaring girl

Mosquitoes out in full force already? Blame the weather

But a B.C. mosquito expert says the heat wave will help keep the pests at bay

New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border – but with parents

Move would ease rules that limit how much time minors can be held with their parents

Without a big data strategy, Canadians at risk of being ‘data cows’

Presentation said artificial intelligence could give Facebook and Amazon even more power

Five B.C. families stuck in Japan as Canada refuses visas for adopted babies

Lawyer points to change in American policy around adoptions from Japan

Most Read