Integrative cancer care has personally touched the Patterson family and played a pivotal role in John’s eight-year journey with cancer.
John's cancer journey
One year after successful treatment for prostate cancer John was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. This time, there were no options for complete treatment and John was faced with ongoing surgeries to try to keep up with the growth and spread of the disease. As recurrence was projected within 18 months, together with his family and friends, John started his search for other options. This search led him to a naturopathic doctor (ND) and the integrative cancer treatment program. For almost six years post-diagnosis, John maintained his inactive tumor status - long enough to be the first candidate for a trial immunotherapy treatment at Sunnybrook Hospital when he relapsed. The immunotherapy was successful after only two treatments and John is again in remission and is now almost eight years post initial diagnosis.
The search for other care options identified a significant divide between conventional and non-conventional cancer care as well as a tremendous amount of anecdotal information. Reviewing options with his ND before beginning his six-year journey was a turning point - anecdote was separated from evidence and John and his family saw the evidence base that exists for integrative cancer care. As time went on, John often reflected to both his oncologist and ND on how well he felt despite his disease and his vision became to help bridge the divide and ensure that others had access to the same integrative cancer care that he had.
It is with this vision that the Patterson Institute for Integrative Cancer Research was established at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. The Patterson Institute will contribute to medical research by translating the available knowledge so that it guides clinicians providing cancer care. This knowledge translation will help us carry out our fundamental purpose - to help those on a cancer journey and their care team, access the high-quality information that they are seeking to help guide their decision making for the best possible outcome.
About John and Thea Patterson
The Pattersons have devoted their lives to making the world a better place. Through thoughtful discussion, and concrete action, they tackle global challenges. John began his career as a pastor in the United Church of Canada while Thea’s career has been as a teacher and together they incorporated education, technology, business and faith into their work both here in Canada and abroad. For many years they served in India, Hong Kong, the UK and Chicago, launching village development work, conducting training and along with their partners, founding Kanbay, an Information Technology firm that employed more than 7,000 people. Kanbay’s success was predicated on putting people before profits and by the time they retired the firm was an international success.
The Pattersons have been involved with the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA), Canada World Youth and the Canadian Federation of University Women. They have devoted efforts to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Sub-Saharan Africa working in Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda. Most recently they developed the Abbey Gardens project, a not-for-profit charity that has reclaimed an open pit quarry to provide economic, environmental and recreational opportunities for the Haliburton community as well as programs for learning about sustainable living.