07.06.2010 03:40 PM

Wishing Jack Layton (and others facing the same challenge) good health

Bought a new bunch of Livestrong bracelets yesterday at Nike; I’ve been wearing one non-stop since my Dad got sick, more than six years ago.

This CP story is a nice one, and shows the power of fighting back against this damned disease.  If you want to send Jack your best wishes, you can email him at: LaytoJ@parl.gc.ca


Well wishers like ‘wind under your wings,’ says cancer stricken NDP leader (Layton-Health)

OTTAWA _ NDP Leader Jack Layton says he’s getting a big lift from public support for his battle against prostate cancer.

“I’m getting well-wishes from all over the place,” said Layton, who’s remained in the public eye since announcing last February he had contracted the same cancer his late father defeated 17 years ago.

“I have no doubt they have an impact. It’s like you’ve got this wind under your wings.”

He told a news conference Tuesday _ just hours after his latest medical checkup _ he feels good and doctors are “really happy” with his progress.

Layton, who turns 60 later this month, said he feels better all the time, despite losing 10 to 15 pounds and adhering to a strict diet that includes broccoli, cooked tomatoes and a southeast Asian berry called goji, known for its medicinal qualities and health benefits.

“I’ve cut out a lot of things I used to love to eat,” he said. “So I’m down to the weight I was when I was 25, and they say that’s good for your health in general, anyway. I’m feeling very good.”

The New Democrat leader said it appears his progress is following the same path as that of his father, Robert, who made a full recovery.

“I’m very, very optimistic,” he said. “So far, so good.”

The elder Layton, a Progressive Conservative cabinet minister in Brian Mulroney’s government, died in 2002 at age 76 due to complications from Parkinson’s disease.

Virtually every member of Parliament wore a teal-and-blue-striped tie or scarf inside the House of Commons one day in March in support of Layton’s fight. They’re the colours of Prostate Cancer Canada.

“His public gesture of courage showed Canadian men and their families that they are not alone in their daily fight to combat this illness, but more needs to be done,” Conservative MP Jim Abbott said at the time.

Layton said he’ll be taking a little time with his granddaughter Beatrice this summer, but it’ll more likely be in the confines of his Toronto riding than on the northern whitewater rapids he and wife Olivia Chow like to navigate.

1 Comment

  1. allegra fortissima says:

    Prevention is better than cure!

    Medicare plans in Western European countries offer free early detection cancer screening programs on a yearly basis:

    prostate cancer from the age of 45
    breast cancer from the age of 30
    cervical cancer from the age of 20
    colorectal cancer from the age of 50
    skin cancer for all ages if at risk
    lung cancer for all ages if at risk

    Also available under European Medicare plans – and free – are blood tests, ultrasound, x-rays, bone density tests, eyesight tests, heart disease tests, kidney/liver function tests, dental check/basic treatment and many more. All tests are performed on a yearly basis or whenever necessary at the doctor’s office. Results are usually available within 24 hours.

    All screening programs and tests can be easily scheduled at the doctor’s office, in most cases the doc sends a yearly reminder in any case. Waiting times for all screening programs and tests are about 1-2 weeks, at the most.

    Costs: there is either a flat rate (like 140 Euros a month) or a rate based on your income (the more you earn the more you pay) for Public Health plans. Private health plans are available at a higher or additional cost, but most people don’t need them unless they want “first class” treatment at a hospital or medical clinic by Prof. Dr.Dr. Dr. so and so (which isn’t really necessary). If people are on a low income or if they have no income Medicare is free.

    Waiting times for surgery are 2-6 weeks, 6 weeks are about the maximum. If patients need surgery immediately due to a life threatening condition or strong pain they get surgery immediately, of course. I have never heard of European seniors with hip problems being in pain for months and months and being placed on a wait list for 1 year or more! In short: it doesn’t matter what kind of health plan people have – they get the medical treatment they need in a timely manner!

    Last not least – Europeans find family doctors and specialists easily. There are many in every country, province, city and town. New patients are always welcome!

    Get well soon, Jack Layton! I wish you and your family the very best!

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