Campaign extended! Our deadline has passed but you can still help.
Help John fight cancer and graduate from Fanshawe
$3,630 raised
12% of $30k goal
42 contributors
43 Weeks running


My name is John Olliffe, and this is my story of diagnosis and the challenges I am facing with my current prognosis, and life situation.

I am a 49 year old mature student enrolled in the Computer System Technology program at Fanshawe College, in London Ontario.  I'm a proud dad to two wonderful daughters and a couple of Shar Pei's, and this September my wife and I are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary.

After almost 25 years of doing social service work, I decided I needed a change, and left to return to school to study Information Technology at Fanshawe College.  I an currently in my final year of studies and hope to graduate this spring with my cohort.

However, that's in jeopardy, along with a few other things, thanks to my medical problems.

Medical Issues:

Shortly before Chistmas 2017, while on a co-op placement for my program, I began to experience a recurring pain in my leg.  It would get better for a few days then come roaring back.

The first time I sought medical help for it I stopped in emerg In St, Mary's on my way home from school.  The Dr examined me and concluded I had like torn a muscle in my leg, but because of my weight wanted to rule out deep vein thrombosis, and so scheduled me for a ultrasound.

The results were, of course negative, so I treated it as a torn muscle, with RICE etc, and carried on.  Until it became unbearable and my wife had to drive me into the the emergency room in Stratford.

This Dr thought it may be some kind of nerve pain in my thigh, but because of my weight wanted to rule out bursitis so he ordered an x-ray.  When I got to the x-ray department I was surprised to learn that they were x-raying my hip instead of the thigh bone, above the knee, where it actually hurt.  I explained my annoyance to the tech but she told me should could only do what the Dr ordered. 

Well that x-ray came back negative and I was sent on my way with a Rx for nerve pain and a plan to follow up with my family Dr ASAP since I was frustrated that both medical professionals had ignored my actual complaints about WHERE the pain was located and instead focused on my weight.

Well, the semester was condensed due to the faculty strike,  and by this time it was late in the semester.  So I had to wait until after exams when I was in my next placement.

My family Dr was great he listened about where it ACTUALLY hurt, checked range of motion etc before jumping to conclusions.  After all his checks he too figured it was something soft tissue related, and made a referral for me to a  sports therapy clinic.  However, he wanted an x-ray of the actual area of paint to go along with me so that they could rule out skeletal issues and then get on with a regime of physio.

It didn't turn out that way.

Instead, I got a call from my Dr's office saying they needed to see me and I had to get blood work done first.  When I went in my blood work was inconclusive, and he told me they'd found something on the x-ray and wanted to schedule more tests.

So after an MRI, and more blood work it was concluded that it was likely metatstatic prostate cancer.  So more tests, this time a full body bone scan, a full thorax and head CT scan and a prostate biopsy.  And it was official I had advanced stage 4 prostate cancer with several metastatic sites, and I was devastated.

The Challenge:

As a full time student, a father, and husband of a wife who is only working part time, money is tight.  Well I'll be honest, beyond tight.  Cancer treatment is neither cheap or easy on the body and as a result I have not been able to work full time hours at my placement.

Between out of pocket expenses, medical costs, and missing work due to appointments, medical tests, and treatment side effects we are in dire financial straights and have had one bill go to third party collections already.

The average annual cost to fight cancer in Canada is over $60,000.  Well more than we are making, even including OSAP and health benefits from the college.

What my family and I are looking for is help with the day to day bills we have incurred and will continue to incur as a result of my condition.  We would also like to pay off some of the debt we have accumulated already as a way of reducing our monthly financial load.

Our target goal is $30,000.  That number is based on a combination of anticipated future non medical expenses, and paying down outstanding debt, which will allow me to focus on healing, completing school, and securing a full time job in my field.

Please, I ask you, help me and my family while we fight against cancer together and I try to finish my education so I can provide for my family long term.

Than you for your time,

John O

Activity highlights See all42
Follow this campaign to receive updates by email.

People just like you

People just like you have raised $146,000,000+ for causes they and their friends care about.

Start your own campaign
Recent contributions