Skip to content

Senior cancer survivor walks, fundraises for Richmond Hospital

Richmond resident William Wan (left) and his wife Julia in front of Richmond Hospital.

If you are driving by Richmond Hospital in the morning, you may see a Richmond senior walking around the block.

Long-time Richmond resident and cancer survivor William Wan, 79, has been walking around the hospital building every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10 a.m. to fundraise for the Richmond Hospital Foundation.

His walkathon titled “A Senior Walks for All Richmond Patients” (SWARP) began after his third surgery and battle against cancer.

“I wanted to do this walkathon to give a little courage to those patients suffering from cancer and especially those who are senior patients,” said Wan.

In the summer of 2019, a tumour was discovered in Wan's transverse colon - it had also spread to the left part of his liver.

After bi-weekly chemotherapy for six weeks, he proceeded with two laparoscopic surgeries to remove the tumours.

A second tumour, however, appeared on Wan’s right side of his liver in June 2021, which required him to go under the knife to get it removed. He then continued with chemotherapy until February 2023.

“Because I experienced a painful recovery and saw so many older patients with failing health and other sicknesses, I thought I would take a walk to turn my adversary into celebration,” said Wan.

From his daily “cheer up” walks, he decided to host the walkathon to express his gratitude to the staff.

“I just appreciate all the love, care and professionalism from them. To help them just as they have helped me, I want to fundraise for the hospital to make sure it can provide more to the growing population of Richmond.”

Wan told the Richmond News he also wanted to spread love and care into the community.

“There’s been a lot of negativities … in the community and hopefully a bit more love and care can make the society more inclusive and harmonious.”

So far, a few neighbours, friends and his wife have joined him on his morning walks, but Wan welcomes other community members.

He starts at the main entrance of Richmond Hospital, heads north along Gilbert Road, east along Westminster Highway, south on Minoru Boulevard, west on Granville Avenue and north again on Gilbert Road to finish at the hospital entrance.

Wan will be continuing his charity walkathon until May 31.

Donations to Wan’s SWARP charity walk can be done online by clicking here or by a mailed cheque to Richmond Hospital Foundation, 7000 Westminster Hwy. Richmond, B.C. V6X 1A2 with a note to SWARP.