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We are Wellspring

About Us

Our Mission: Wellspring Alberta is a warm and welcoming community that provides a comprehensive range of support, resources and programs so anyone living with cancer and the people who care for them can improve the quality of their lives.

Our Vision: No one has to face cancer alone.

Who We Serve: Individuals living with cancer – those diagnosed, caregivers and kids – throughout Alberta. 

Wellspring helps to heal the mind, heart and spirit.

Our Purpose

A cancer diagnosis can be devastating. It brings countless life-altering moments and events for the people who receive the diagnosis and for those who love them. People with cancer are compelled to find a ‘new normal,’ before, during and after treatment. Priorities shift, relationships change, life is … different.

At Wellspring, people living with cancer tell us what helps them the most is having access to information, receiving support, and learning new ways to cope. They also tell us the cancer journey has two roads: medical and emotional.

We have excellent medical resources to fight cancer, but people who have cancer need so much more. Individuals and their loved ones often have difficulty finding the emotional, social and practical support they so urgently require. The support provided by Wellspring becomes a vital complement to medical treatment.

In Alberta, only Wellspring devotes itself exclusively to the unique non-medical impacts of cancer. At Wellspring, people with cancer, their families and caregivers can exchange information, develop a support system and create a sense of hope, in the warm, caring atmosphere of our centres, and in our welcoming online community.

Our Centres

In addition to our satellite sites, Wellspring Alberta also has two physical centres located in Calgary and one physical centre located in Edmonton and provides online programs to anyone, anywhere.

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Carma House

Located eight minutes west of the Tom Baker Cancer Centre (and the new Calgary Cancer Centre) Carma House is a warm, welcoming community where cancer patients, caregivers and families gather to take part in programs and connect with others on a similar path.

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Randy O’Dell House

Located just south of Calgary’s South Health Campus, Randy O’Dell House in Seton, offers the space and capacity to serve and provide vital supports to far more Albertans living with cancer.

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Edmonton House

Centrally located with easy access via public transit or car, Edmonton House is a warm and inviting non-residential, home-like centre – without the trappings of a clinic or hospital – where the emphasis is on the person, not on the illness.

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Online House

Come be part of our supportive online community where you can access evidence-informed programs facilitated by experienced leaders and professionals in the cancer community from the comfort of your own home.

Its important to us to acknowledge that we live, work and play on traditional territories in Alberta of the many First Nations’ Treaties 6, 7, 8, Metis and Inuit. We pay tribute to those whose footsteps have marked these lands for centuries, and the gifts provided by Elders and Knowledge Keepers.

Wellspring Collaborations

Wellspring is privileged to have so many incredible partners. 

History of Wellspring 

(the Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation) 

When Toronto lawyer Anne Armstrong-Gibson learned she had cancer, along with other fears about treatment, survival, and her family’s future, she experienced an overwhelming sense of isolation. Recognizing that isolation is a common experience among cancer patients, she became determined to fill the void. With the help and encouragement of leading experts in oncology, Anne worked with family, friends, and supporters to establish the Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation, a non-profit, charitable organization offering free social, emotional and informational support to individuals living with cancer and their loved ones.

History of Wellspring Alberta

In September of 2022, Wellspring Calgary and Wellspring Edmonton joined forces to become Wellspring Alberta, a strong and unified provincial charity that offers programs and services at no charge and without referral, to anyone with any type of cancer, and their families.

Given the shared mission and mandate of these organizations, and their connection to the Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation, the union was a natural fit and a logical way to strengthen resources, capitalize on efficiencies, and band together to provide vital services to those living with cancer throughout all of Alberta.

The merger was months in the planning and implemented after extensive analysis, collaborations, and committee work to ensure seamless integration of the three Wellspring centres in Calgary and Edmonton, as well as the thriving online Wellspring community so that no one living in Alberta has to face cancer alone.

History of Wellspring Calgary 

In 1999, a Globe and Mail article about Toronto-based Wellspring inspired cancer survivor and Calgary businessman John Stephure to open a support centre for cancer patients and their families in Calgary. He was joined by cancer survivors Rita Egizii and Barbara Cunnings who shared John’s vision and together they co-founded Wellspring Calgary.

They formed a Board, legally incorporated, and received charitable status in 2006. Wellspring Calgary launched programs in a rented space in 2007 after raising two years of operating capital and affiliating with the Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation. In 2009, the organization moved into its first centre, Carma House, gifted and built by Carma Developers, now Brookfield Residential Properties. Sadly, after a short recurrence of the cancer he had fought for 11 years, co-founder John Stephure passed away on June 28, 2009. 

In October of 2019, Wellspring Calgary opened its second Calgary home, Randy O’Dell House in Seton, offering the space and capacity to serve and support more Albertans with cancer across southern Alberta.

History of Wellspring Edmonton 

The idea for a Wellspring in Edmonton was formed in 2008 when Drs. Glenn and Marilyn Hundleby from Edmonton toured the construction of Wellspring Calgary’s Carma House, and recognized the need for a cancer support organization in northern Alberta. Over the next several years, with extensive research and planning, their dream took shape. Joined by Solomon Rolingher, Q.C., and John Webster, an architect at Stantec, the project was named Wellspring Edmonton and land was secured for development. They formed a founding Board and a Healthcare Advisory Council to engage local healthcare professionals and provide expertise and collaboration for the centre.

Wellspring Edmonton was legally incorporated and granted charitable status in 2010. The newly formed Board of Directors initiated a capital campaign, raising $7 million for the construction of the building. Wellspring Edmonton was a result of the generosity of hundreds of businesses and professionals, donors, and volunteers. The centre opened its doors and formally launched programs in 2017. 

Forward as One

Today, Wellspring Alberta serve thousands of Albertans, offering people living with cancer – those diagnosed, caregivers and kids, free access to a wide variety of evidence-informed programs and services across the province.

2006
Co-founders John Stephure, Rita Egizii, and Barbara Cunnings came together with a shared cancer experience to create Wellspring Calgary, receiving charitable status.
2007
Wellspring Calgary commenced operations in leased space in Parkdale.
2008
Future Wellspring Edmonton co-founders Drs Marilyn and Glenn Hundleby, travelled to Calgary to meet with John Stephure, who showed them the site of Wellspring Calgary’s new home Carma House.
2008
Drs Marilyn and Glenn Hundleby commenced the process of establishing a Wellspring facility in Edmonton.
2009
Carma House opens in Calgary after being generously built and donated by Carma Developers (now Brookfield Residential). Wellspring Calgary lost friend and co-founder John Stephure to cancer.
2010
Wellspring Edmonton was granted charitable status.
2010
Wellspring Calgary reached their $6 million endowment goal thanks to 17+ community donors.
2012
Wellspring Edmonton launched a campaign to raise funds for the construction of a permanent centre and provide operating expenses for the first two years.
2013
A groundbreaking ceremony is held in Edmonton at the planned site of their new centre.
2014
A south pilot show home project was opened in Calgary, thanks to Cedarglen Homes.
2014
Wellspring Edmonton reached their $7 million endowment goal with the support of donors, and construction of the centre began.
2016
A temporary space at Fountain Court in SE Calgary is opened to expand programs to those living in south Calgary.
2016
Business owner Randy O’Dell provided a $4 million gift to name a new permanent location in south Calgary.
2016
Wellspring Edmonton’s centre is completed and ready for occupancy.
2017
Wellspring Calgary launched a campaign with the goal to raise $12.9 million for the construction of Randy O’Dell House, member services and program delivery, and to increase the current sustainability fund.
2017
Wellspring Edmonton officially opened its doors at what is now known as Edmonton House.
2019
Randy O’Dell House opened in Calgary after the campaign exceeded its goal, raising $13.2 million from generous donors.
2020
Both Wellspring Calgary and Edmonton launch online programs, expanding cancer support to communities throughout Alberta.
2022
Wellspring Edmonton and Wellspring Calgary join forces as Wellspring Alberta – one Wellspring for all Albertans.
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Leadership

Our team is made of people who are passionate about serving our mission.

Senior Leadership Team

Natalie Noble

Chief Executive Officer

Sheena Clifford

Chief Operating Officer

Steve Ironside

Finance Director

Elizabeta Ligurić

Resource Development and Communications Director

Board of Directors

Bill (William) G. Gilliland

ICD.D Partner, Dentons Canada LLP

Chair

Dr. Bill Dickout

Physician

Vice Chair

Steven Reilly, CFA

Energy Marketing Consultant Windcraft Corporation

Treasurer

Nancy Wright

Nurse (Retired)

Secretary

Dr. Victoria David

Physician

Director

Alexandra (Alex) Federucci

VP, People & Business Process Integration, TC Energy (Retired)

Director

Sean Fujikawa

Manager, Project Services – Major Projects, Pembina Pipeline Corporation

Director

Ryan Gellatly, CA

Manager, Financial Reporting, DIRTT Environmental Solutions

Director

Sara Hart

K.C. Partner, Dentons Canada LLP

Director

Dan MacLennan

Director

Dr. Maureen McCall

Palliative Care Consultant, AHS

Director

Lindsay Morgan

Manager, Commercial Marketing, Athabasca Oil Corporation

Director

Kent Parlee

Financial Planner, Investment & Retirement Planning, Royal Bank of Canada

Director

Victor Tanti

Director

John Webster

Senior Principal, Stantec Architecture Ltd Architect AAA

Director

Rod Wilson

GM Business Development, Petrogas Energy Corp

Director

Dr. Jackson Wu

Radiation Oncologist, Cancer Care Alberta;
Vice Chair, Health Research Ethics Board of Alberta Cancer Committee

Director