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Light The Night Calgary

The Gray Family - Rob, Joanne and their 6 children
The Gray Family - Rob, Joanne and their 6 children

Rob Gray & Family

 The Year that Shaped Me (excerpt)

By Rob Gray


1989 – November

               OH YEAH!!!  We, The University of Western Ontario Mustangs, just won the Vanier Cup!  I love playing this sport!  I should feel happier than I do, especially right now, but the scabs all over my body are a constant reminder that I’m not well.  I just wish someone could tell me what it is.  I’m so itchy, I’m now snapping pens in half during classes to scratch through my skin throughout the day.  Maybe a break from football will help, and I can gain some of the weight back I’ve lost; seems like I lost more than normal this year.  Well, I better enjoy the moment…who knows what tomorrow’s going to bring.

1990 – November

               We lost in the national semi-finals yesterday, and that will be the last game of university football I ever play.  I feel awful about the game, as does the rest of the team…

Radiation wasn’t nearly as tough for me as the chemo (and without the potential ‘side effect’) when I came back to London for football training camp.  That was definitely my goal, play football and go to school again this year.  I think ‘Dr. Jonesy’ agreed to it thinking that it was good to encourage the positive attitude.  I’m pretty sure he told my Mom and Dad that I would likely be back home before training camp finished and classes even started…

The days seem better and hopefully there will be brighter years ahead.  I don’t know if other people going through this think the same way…I need help from other people, but I don’t want them to need me, and at the same time, I’m just not sure I’m going to be around.  Seems like a reasonable (and terrifying) thought process. 

I decided tonight that if five years from now, I’m still alive and in remission, I’m going to ask Joanne to marry me…


For Rob’s full story, visit and learn how he experienced, suffered, fought and overcame to become this year’s Honoured Hero for the Prairies and a member of the Executive Leadership Committee for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada and the Light the Night campaign in 2021.

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Rob Gray & Family is participating in Light The Night Calgary on October 23 to fight blood cancers.

In 2020 we made history, and for the first time Canadians celebrated on the same day, virtually. The community reunited and raised close to $5 million to support blood cancers, despite the pandemic.

Now in 2021, COVID-19 continues to significantly impact people affected by a blood cancer.

Never has our community needed us more. Never has the challenge been greater.

Never has it been more important to take back the light that cancer and COVID -19 have tried to take away!

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