Lionel Strang's Long Walk Home to Celebrate 'One More Year'

17/08/2017




Lionel Strang has been counting the days for a long time – all of the days since he faced a tough cancer diagnosis nearly three years ago. 
 
In September of 2014, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma. He received his diagnosis in his hometown of Barrie, Ont., but came to Princess Margaret Cancer Centre for his treatment.
 

 
He saw a doctor who helped him get involved with a clinical trial. Strang would learn that an average patient in his situation had two years to live.

But he then learned that new treatments might give him more time than that.
 
"And away we went for the ride of my life," says Strang, who has since been treated with immunotherapy
 
At one point, Strang was at home and he started thinking about the number of days he was likely to live. 
 
"I literally thought to myself: I guess I'm going to live, like, 200 or 240 days, I should count down," says Strang, who ultimately decided to count up because he didn’t know where to start.
 
Along the way, Strang kept a journal of sorts on Facebook, putting up a post every day.
 
Just before the first year had passed, his secretary and friend, Barb, who's been with him over 20 years, suggested having a barbecue to celebrate.

With help from about 20 friends, he raised $1,200 for Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. The second time around, the event raised $8,000.
 
Lionel Strang and his wifeAs Strang – seen standing alongside his wife, Anne, in the photo on the right – makes his way to Barrie over the next week, he'll be heading to the third One More Year barbecue – named for the annual milestone he has been passing during his count.
 
The money is going to the Psychosocial Oncology Clinic at the Cancer Centre, so Strang can give back to a key source of support during his cancer journey.
 
"So many people with cancer pass through that department," says Strang, who calls The Princess Margaret's Dr. Madeline Li "a rock" of support for him.
 
"She's unselfish, she's indestructible, she's caring, she's knowledgeable….she just wants to help me heal," says Strang.
 
On Saturday, August 19th, Dr. Li will join Strang on the first part of his walk – going from the Cancer Centre to the Mount Pleasant Road and Davisville Avenue area, a part of Toronto where he grew up.
 
From there, he'll make his way to Barrie, so he can join the guests at the third One More Year BBQ