Buying time: 7 hrs, 52 stitches

Leata Qaunaq knew something was wrong when her husband Joellie arrived to meet her and their daughter at the airport near Arctic Bay, Nunavut. He was talking, but not making sense.

The Ottawa Hospital, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation





Joellie Qaunaq has 52 stitches on the left side of his head from the seven-hour surgery to remove a brain tumour. He had to leave his family, friends, and community of Arctic Bay on northern Baffin Island to come to The Ottawa Hospital for treatment because it is the only centre that treats patients from Nunavut. Joellie was guided through his cancer treatment and care by a First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nurse Navigator in the hospital’s Indigenous Cancer Program, which aims to improve access to cancer care services in a respectful, culturally appropriate way. After surgery and radiation, Joellie returned to Nunavut with chemotherapy pills, which allowed him to continue treatment at home.

Just before this report went to print, we were saddened to learn that Joellie passed away in early May 2019. Your support of cancer research is helping us find better treatments, so that one day patients like Joellie will live longer, fuller lives.

Click here to read more about Joellie.

The Ottawa Hospital, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation
Joellie Qaunaq after a 7hr surgery and 52 stitches to close the incision surgeons made in his head to remove a brain tumour.


The Ottawa Hospital, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation

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