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Dr. Smylie Receives the CMC Legacy Award

Dr. Michael Smylie was the recipient of the 2023 Canadian Melanoma Conference Legacy Award which was presented on February 26, 2023. Kathy Barnard, Save Your Skin Foundation’s founder and former patient of Dr. Smylie, had the honour of saying a few words about this incredible doctor, friend, athlete and father. She read several testimonials from former patients and caregivers, including the following one from her very own sister, Rosemary Westie:

“To Mike,

When you love someone who’s diagnosed with cancer, the world as you know it comes to an end. When my big sister and best friend was diagnosed I was petrified. I couldn’t imagine a life without her in it, none of our family could. But sadly, as a family, you can only do so much. You can provide love, support, and hope, but at the end of the day, you’re still petrified, because love, support and hope can’t cure this relentless disease.

In the early years through the various treatments and surgeries my sister had, we always feared we were on borrowed time. Although she stayed strong and dealt with everything this disease threw at her, there came the day we dreaded, where we were told there was nothing they could do. The panic and fear that set in at that stage was indescribable, I simply could not breathe. But then, when we were at our most desperate, we were granted a miracle.  And that miracle was you, Mike Smylie.

I know now, years later, that you are simply a lovely and humble man. You’re a wonderful dad and a friend to many. You are a tremendous athlete, and a connoisseur of excellent rum. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, your only flaw is that you are an Edmonton Oilers fan🤣.

But can I tell you, Mike, that when we first met under such dire circumstances, to me, my sister and our entire family, you were this divine, all-powerful, god like, super being, that had my sisters life in your hands. I wonder if you realized that you controlled the fate of our family. Our future, our happiness, whether she would live or die.

I think about that now, and what a huge burden that was to place on your shoulders, and to think that you didn’t just carry that burden for her, but for every single one of your patients.

I hope we weren’t asking too much of you Mike, but we needed you, desperately. You brought calm to our panic, you brought hope when we felt hopeless. You helped us understand what was happening, and what to expect throughout the treatment, which was invaluable when we were in the eye of the storm.  You always made us feel like she was your only patient and your biggest priority, and we know you did the same for everyone single one of your patients. 🙂

You, my dear, just have to accept that you will always be our super hero. Not the one wearing the cape, but the one wearing the wings, and of course the tight bike shorts. 🤣Thank you Mike, for saving my sisters life.

Kath’s sister Rose”

Dr. Michael Smylie has been a good friend of the Foundation since its creation. He sits on our Medical Advisory Committee and has been a frequent presenter on our webinars, including our most recent Post-CMC 2023 Update webinar. Dr. Michael Smylie is a medical oncologist at the Cross Cancer Institute, and professor at the Department of Oncology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

Congratulations Dr. Smylie!


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Save Your Skin Foundation wishes to bring hope and support to all those touched by melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancers, or ocular melanoma – whether they are newly diagnosed, currently undergoing treatment, in remission or referred to as “NED” (no evidence of disease).


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