A Legacy of Hope

By Cancer Foundation on September 12 / 2016


Drew Lyall and his family at Arthur’s Seat in Scotland

Drew Lyall found strength and comfort in knowing his gift would help others.

The news was devastating.

After living cancer-free for five years, Drew Lyall’s melanoma had returned. This time it had metastasized to the bone. “He went into treatment but we knew we were just buying time to line up potential drug trials,” says Suzanne Loch, Drew’s wife. “Drew’s cancer was very aggressive and it outraced us.”

Sadly, Drew passed away on January 16, 2016, just a few days shy of his 50th birthday. But before he died, the 49-year-old father of two did something that demonstrated his unbridled passion for helping others facing cancer. He created a legacy fund and ensured its successful beginnings by leaving a $14,000 bequest in his will. As he wrote, “My own story, although the end is not what I had hoped, still left me with so much belief and faith in what can be done.”

Drew’s belief and faith was most evident in his work with the Ottawa based BioCanRx, a consortium he helped to found focused on further developing new cancer biotherapeutics such as oncolytic viruses, immunotherapy and antibody therapies.

“Drew had so much passion for research, the way cancer treatment was taking a new turn,” says Suzanne. “His hope was to push forward cancer research and the clinical trials that show such promise, using the body’s own mechanisms to defeat cancer. He had a vision to start the ball rolling that would continue long after he was gone.”

It was this passion that led to Drew’s generosity. He wanted others to benefit from ongoing research just like he had. “The treatment did extend Drew’s life,” Suzanne says. “We were standing on the shoulders of others who had found it in their hearts to give. A legacy gift was our opportunity to keep the momentum going and the research moving forward.”

Suzanne is grateful to every person who donated to Drew’s Legacy Fund. She hopes others will be inspired by Drew’s passion and leave their own mark in the world, and in the hearts of those touched by cancer.

“A legacy gift is a way to do something meaningful,” she says. “With a gift in your Will, you still live on in helping others. Your create something that’s a living force.”

For more information about leaving a gift in your will, please visit https://www.ottawacancer.ca/get-involved/ways-to-give/plan-your-legacy-gift/.

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