Featured Rider Story
“My daily goals are to keep a smile on my face, laugh at myself and try to help others when I can. Long term, though, I hope I will be able to get back to the slopes and complete my 7th Ride to Conquer Cancer, raising funds for research, treatment and care at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.”
Phil, a seven-time Ride participant, would rather be skiing. Instead, he’s recovering from 35 radiation treatments.
After a follow up MRI from a concussion he had in 2010, doctors found a large mass growing on his tonsils and scheduled Phil for a biopsy at Collingwood Hospital. Soon after, Phil was diagnosed with stage three squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue.
Beginning his first round of radiation treatment on December 15, 2014 at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and finishing at the end of January, Phil has gone from feeling like his neck was sunburned to having swollen and blistered insides. It became difficult for him to swallow and eat and he lost over 16 pounds in the process.
As of February 5, Phil feels he is at the bottom of his cancer journey, as he is only drinking liquid meals and he can hardly speak. Still, he knows he only has one way to go: Up. The hopeful cancer patient will return to The Princess Margaret in the middle of March for an MRI, where he will learn the results of treatment.
The upcoming Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting Princess Margaret Cancer Centre keeps him motivated. With the event in June, Phil is looking forward to getting back on the slopes and his road bike to train for Canada’s largest cycling fundraiser.