The Friendly News is a collaboration between TELUS and Daily Hive. Together, we’re creating a space for important, feel-good community stories to be told, where Canadians can immerse themselves in uplifting news and articles featuring community leaders giving back during a time when we all need it most.
Written for Daily Hive by Sandra Thomas
In 2019, Christian Ngosso, a young professional living in Montreal, received some shocking news: a lymphoma diagnosis.
At an age when people are taking their first steps in their careers and enjoying active social lives, this is the kind of ordeal that can bring all of our plans to a halt and accentuate feelings of isolation and uncertainty.
For Ngosso, the connection and expert advice he found in a new podcast crafted specifically for those with his diagnosis was just what he needed as he focussed on his recovery. He isn’t just a listener; he’s also shared his own experience with listeners in hopes of helping others facing similar challenges.
“Today, I’m in remission. I’ve been able to start playing soccer again, and it’s been really good for me — it’s therapeutic,” Ngosso says. “I enjoyed taking part in this podcast, and it’s helped us to create a real community. That sense of connection is very inspiring when you’re going through your treatments.”
From mental health to fertility to body image, the podcast series “The Blood Cancer Experience”, launched earlier this year by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada addresses topics that directly affect young adults.
The podcast was made possible through a grant from the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, which exists to empower youth in need through access to technology, health, and education programs. Driven by the belief that all children should have the chance to achieve their full potential, TELUS launched the Foundation in 2018 with a $120 million endowment — the largest donation by a publicly traded Canadian company and one of the largest in North America. Since then, the foundation has been providing support to over two million Canadian youth annually, building a brighter future for kids who need it most through our support of local grassroots charities.
For the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada, the podcast is a perfect fit with its goals. It acts as a vital resource for young Canadian adults affected by blood cancer to “make connections, receive compassion for what they’re going through, and create a sense of being better understood,” said Nadine Prévost, Director of Community Services for the Society.
It also allowed the society to continue its outreach efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, which impacted in-person group support meetings. Featured topics to date have included long-term side effects of cancer and treatments, relapse anxiety, and effective communication with family and friends.
“Thank you to the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation for supporting these people as they come to grips with difficult challenges,” said Prévost.
In his episode of the podcast, Ngosso talked about how he first learned that he had cancer, and discussed every stage of the process from diagnosis to treatments, along with resources that he found beneficial, such as meditation and spirituality.
One of the greatest difficulties he faced was being far away from his family in Cameroon as he dealt with his illness. He describes how meeting with the spiritual care provider at the hospital and finding comfort in their conversations helped him to get through certain especially difficult periods.
Having made his way through this ordeal, he wants to share an important message with people who have recently received a diagnosis. “These podcasts are a wonderful initiative. They’re the reason why I’ve gotten involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada. In my story and the stories of the other contributors, there’s a fundamental sense of hope.”
In addition to the Friendly Future Foundation’s support of local initiatives and charities across Canada, TELUS is also dedicated to building stronger, healthier communities and helping those who need support the most. The TELUS team has generously contributed the equivalent of $1.3 billion in time and financial support to Canadian charities and local organizations since 2000, including $736 million and 1.4 million days of volunteer work, making TELUS one of the most giving companies in the world.
To learn more about the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, eligibility criteria and how to apply for funding, please visit friendlyfuture.com.