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Labrador West Pioneers: Albert and Noreen Careen

Surprise cancer was successfully dealt with thanks to early diagnosis

This is a very personal story that Albert and Noreen Careen from Labrador City are sharing with us all.

Albert and Noreen Careen.
Albert and Noreen Careen.

It is a story of one of our longtime families in Labrador West as they have worked their way through a dreaded visitor that has found its way into their home, and the homes and families of far too many of us. There are few among us who have not been touched within our families or circle of friends.

Cancer, a feared and life changing word when it enters our circles lives.Albert and Noreen Careen are Labrador West pioneers, 45 years of life, work and contributions to our community every step of the way. They have raised their two children and have three grandchildren, all receiving the lessons of the value of family and community from them.

Albert is retired out of IOC and Noreen had 19 years with the Status of Women. Both have been an example of the best of community volunteerism throughout all of their 45 years in Labrador West, a bar set high for all of us by their example. They have represented all that is good by their actions in taking care of the things that matter with their family, their neighbours and their whole community.


Related:

Lab West Pioneers: Dick and Anne Louvelle


By sharing this story with us all, they have one simple message. Early detection. Cancer has paid a visit to Albert, and he and Noreen are equally stressing the importance of early detection and are shouting the message to us all.

Albert didn’t have an ache or a pain when he went for his regular checkup. No symptoms, no problem, right? He was referred to a specialist in Ottawa for tests that couldn’t be done here. He described his colonoscopy as it happened in Ottawa on Feb. 7. He, along with the medical professionals, were watching the screen live when they said as they pointed to the screen, “Albert, you have cancer in your colon, you can see it right there.”

Just imagine.

Before Albert and Noreen had time to fully digest the whole magnitude of the diagnosis and its implications, surgery was scheduled and done on March 16.  Surgery done on a Thursday and Albert and Noreen on the road driving back to Labrador West that Monday.

It was not long until Albert was in his regular morning seat at the coffee shop, business as usual. He has since received reports that all indications are that he is cancer free. The only difference is that they want him to have a yearly colonoscopy instead of every two years. Further genetic testing is also indicated for his family as part of a proactive effort to make sure they all have a solid grip on any early detection that may be necessary moving forward.

The incredible leaps forward in medical advances are without a doubt a major contributing factor in cancer care and survival rates. For Albert, his success story is without any doubt in he and Noreen’s minds and message of early detection. As a footnote here, if a positive attitude plays any support and success role, Albert’s got it scalded.

This very personal story of the value of early detection is a gift to us all from Albert and Noreen. We all must give our children and grandchildren every opportunity to have us around for as long as is possible.

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