Receiving the gift of strength

Nadège St-Philippe

In December 2010, Nadège St-Philippe was a 36-year-old newlywed with big plans for the future. A fitness coach and TV weather presenter at the top of her career, life couldn’t have been better, except for the fact that she hadn’t felt well for a few months and was worried about traces and then clots of blood in her stool.  

One December evening, Nadège’s husband drove her to the emergency room because she was feeling unbearable pain. She underwent a scan and two weeks later Nadège was told she had stage 3 colorectal cancer, an inoperable keratinizing carcinoma. The harsh treatments Nadège received led to side effects like intense pain – she was so tired of suffering that she considered stopping her treatments. Looking for someone to talk to about her feelings, Nadège turned to the Canadian Cancer Society’s (CCS) helpline.  

The Cancer Information Helpline (CIH) is a national, toll-free service that is available in English and French for people experiencing a cancer diagnosis, their loved ones, their families and their friends, as well as the general public and healthcare professionals. CIH helps people who may have questions or concerns about cancer to find answers by providing trusted and reliable cancer information. Information specialists also provide compassionate support for people in need of guidance, resources and someone to talk to. 

“I didn’t know what to expect when I called the CCS toll-free helpline – what I found was invaluable support,” says Nadège. “An information specialist shared helpful information and provided heartfelt encouragement that I carried with me throughout my cancer journey. Their kindness and support truly saved my life.”  

For Nadège, that one call was life-changing, giving her the strength and inspiration that she needed to continue her cancer journey. “After I hung up, I decided I didn’t want to die anymore and that I would go to my treatment the next day.”  

Holidays are a time of coming together and giving the greatest gift of all: compassion. This holiday season, show you care and that together, love is stronger than cancer.  

Now more than ever, we need your support to make a difference in the lives of people, like Nadège, affected by cancer.  Visit to learn more on how you can support people living with cancer this holiday season.