Michael Antcliffe has been battling cancer for almost four years and hasn’t been afraid to talk about it.
The Thunder Bay resident launched his book You’ll Never Guess Who’s Dying From Cancer Saturday at Chapters. The book is a collection of notes and Facebook postings from Antcliffe’s fundraising project called I Owe Michael Antcliffe $10.
By liking the Facebook page and becoming one of Antcliffe’s Facebook friends, a person is committing to donate $10 to cancer research. He initially asked for the $10 to be donated in his name after he died, but people have been sending in money since the beginning.
Antcliffe has raised $10,000 so far for the Northern Cancer Fund.
The idea behind the book is get people talking about cancer, said Antcliffe, who was diagnosed with malignant melanoma four years ago.
Antcliffe doesn’t want cancer to be something people never mention, so it isn't something people allow to have control over them.
The Facebook project was originally intended to just raise money, but people ended up sharing stories and supporting one another.
“Cancer has 1,000 faces. You don’t get just one answer to solve them all. You have to attack it in a lot of different ways and creating discussion about it and having free-flowing conversation is one of the ways we can do that,” he said.
By 1 p.m. Saturday, the book was sold out and the response from the launch blew Antcliffe away.
“I couldn’t believe the lineup. I couldn’t believe they sold until they were gone. You can’t ever underestimate the giving spirit of Thunder Bay,” he said. “They always come out to support their own.”
The money Antcliffe has raised has resulted in improved patient care for cancer patients in Thunder Bay and the region, but Thunder Bay Health Sciences Foundation executive office coordinator Katherine Frape said Antcliffe’s willingness to talk about his treatment offers just as much, particularly to young people.
“There is lots of conversation and research that says for young people with cancer, so folks between the ages of 25 and 40, it’s very much taboo to have a conversation about what your treatment is like and how it might be affecting your family,” she said.
“Michael’s public display and engagement of our community – and communities beyond using social media – in his treatment journey opens up so many doors for conversation that will be so helpful to so many patients,” she added.
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