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Chilliwack leukemia survivor asks people to support hospital foundation

David Corke shares cancer story; asks folks to buy Millionaire Lottery tickets
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The Corke family (from left) Sam, Vanessa, Dave and Joe at The Corke Classic where they raised $11,337.70 in 2022 for the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of BC. (Submitted by Vanessa Corke)

A Chilliwack cancer survivor is sharing his story in hopes that people will buy lottery tickets and support a foundation that he has a personal connection with.

David Corke was diagnosed with leukemia and began treatment at Vancouver General Hospital three years ago. Four months later, in April 2021, his cancer was in remission.

He is now encouraging people to buy tickets to the Millionaire Lottery which supports the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. Money raised goes to funding innovative research, advancing specialized adult health care, and purchasing critical medical equipment at Vancouver General Hospital, UBC Hospital, GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, Vancouver Community Health Services and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute.

Corke’s cancer story began in December 2020. He was coaching his Coastal Football Club soccer team when seemingly out of nowhere his back started to hurt.

“I went and saw a chiropractor — didn’t help. And then the pain got so bad that I went to get it examined and they thought it might be kidney stones,” he said. “We investigated that. Antibiotics didn’t work. Then they took some blood, and before you knew it, I was off to VGH.”

A cancerous mass had formed in his stomach that was causing the pain. He needed treatment immediately.

“I started chemotherapy on Christmas Day,” he said. “It was confusing, scary, and obviously I couldn’t see my family because of the pandemic.”

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Chilliwack’s David Corke, seen with wife Vanessa, is a leukemia survivor. He is sharing his story in hopes that people buy tickets to the Millionaire Lottery which supports VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. (Submitted)

Corke went from being on the soccer pitch helping promising young athletes, to being isolated in hospital away from everything he loved — his wife Vanessa and two teenage sons. He went from being a healthy, strong, dynamic, and confident person to dropping down to 51 kilograms, unable to climb stairs or bathe himself.

But with the support, care and expertise from Dr. Maryse Power and the health care teams at VGH, he made it.

VGH is the provincial centre for the treatment of blood cancers and blood diseases. And in celebration of his care team’s dedication, Corke and his family and friends started a fundraiser golf tournament called the Corke Classic the same year that his cancer was in remission.

It began in 2021 with 60 golfers raising money to support patients and their families struggling with new living expenses: gas cards, grocery cards, flight tickets, and more. It has since tripled attendance with 180 golfers and raised $20,000 in 2023.

READ MORE: Chilliwack man, diagnosed with leukemia, and family raise more than $10,000 for hospital foundation

Much like the Millionaire Lottery, money raised from the Corke Classic fundraising campaign went to the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation.

The winner of the Millionaire Lottery can choose one of 10 grand prize packages. Grand prize homes are located in South Surrey, Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, Langley, Courtenay, West Kelowna, Lake Country and Sooke. The grand prize home packages are valued between $2.9 and $3.1 million. The grand prize winner also can choose $2.7 million tax-free cash.

“There are over 3,000 prizes to be won worth over $3.5 million in this year’s 2023 Millionaire Lottery,” said Todd Talbot, Millionaire Lottery spokesperson. “The Millionaire Lottery supports life-saving care at British Columbia’s largest hospital and helps our doctors, nurses, staff, health care workers, and all the patients who visit VGH every day. The simple truth is, if you are seriously ill or injured, VGH and UBC hospitals are your best chance. There are few illnesses or injuries these medical teams cannot treat, no matter how complex or rare.”

Millionaire Lottery tickets are two for $100, five for $175, 10 for $300 and 25 for $600. The lottery also includes extra games: the 50/50 Plus lottery with a maximum prize payout up to $1,200,000 (depending on the number of tickets sold), and the Daily Cash Plus game returns with 105 days of winning, with a value of all prizes being $325,000.

People can purchase their tickets on-line at millionairelottery.com, by phone: 604-602-5848, toll-free: 1-888-445-5825, or in-person at any London Drugs.

The grand prize draw is Jan. 31, 2024.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge woman runs more kms each day to raise funds for Chilliwack friend with leukemia



Jenna Hauck

About the Author: Jenna Hauck

I started my career at The Chilliwack Progress in 2000 as a photojournalist.
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