(but there’s one catch: we need your support)
Chuck Linney stared at the camera equipment placed by the door.
The digital body and lenses were all neatly nestled in a carrying bag placed directly by the doorway he entered through each day to visit his father, a non-smoker who was battling lung cancer.
“My only chance to enjoy it now is through your eyes, Son,” he said to me. “And that’s how it all started again.”
(and you just might know someone in the photos)
Chuck Linney has taken hundreds of thousands of photos, stemming from unannounced drop-ins at little league, minor hockey, soccer and basketball games to scheduled post-secondary games through his affiliation with Mount Allison university.
This fall, in an extremely generous move, his vast library of photos will be opened in an effort to raise much-needed funds for the hospital Foundation. In particular, the Chuck Linney Challenge is being launched to help bolster the Foundation’s cancer and palliative care assistance funds.
“Both funds help individuals directly,” explains Gwen Kerr, the Foundation’s managing director. “They are used to provide travel assistance, nutritional supplements and other supports for patients who otherwise would not be able to afford the extra costs associated with their care.”
To that end, photos will be released gradually on a special Facebook page. Those in the photos will be tagged and asked to make a donation to the foundation in exchange for the photo. Additionally, they can be challenged to play it forward to family, friends and teammates.
“I think it combines a great cause with good value and a lot of fun,” says Kerr.
As photos are released those pictured in them, or their families, or their friends and teammates, will be tagged. This is to let you know that this photo of your loved one is available for you to keep! All that is asked is that you “pay” for the photo by making a donation to the Chuck Linney Challenge. By clicking on the attached link, or by going to the Cumberland Health Care Foundation’s website at www.chcfoundation.com, you can make your donation, receive your tax receipt, and keep the photo (right click on the photo and save it to your computer). Keep the momentum going by challenging others to do the same thing.
CHUCK’S ADDED BONUS: for every $10 donated your name will be entered into a draw for a Chuck Linney Photo Package (one hour photo shoot anywhere in Cumberland County!). If you donate $20 your name will be entered twice, and so on.
As summer turned to fall in 2016, Chuck Linney was still grieving the death of his father. The hole left in his life and heart was palpable, a sense of loss the Amherst native had never experienced before. Time was healing, but slowly.
Then, suddenly and without warning as life is wont to, it was all compounded a thousand fold exactly four months and nine days later. His son, Steven, at age 29, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“It was the most horrible day of my life,” Chuck recalls, bowing his head as his eyes glistened. “It was awful.”
And so another journey began. Twelve rounds of chemotherapy followed, as the strength of a large family provided the support it could and health care workers took care of the rest, with many going above and beyond.
“I’ll never forget the debt I felt to them.”
By the fall of 2017, those reserves would be called upon once more by the Linney family. While receiving routine allergy injections from his doctor, he inquired about an odd lump on his chest.
“The sun always looks brighter, the rain seems delightful, the flowers have more colour and I will never take life for granted.”
It was most likely a fatty tissue deposit, assured the doctor. During the next allergy appointment four weeks later, the topic was broached once more. However, knowing the patient’s unease and propensity for not complaining, the doctor ordered a scan - rather than an ultrasound - which revealed devastating news. Chuck was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of kidney cancer in adults, originating in the lining of the tubules of the kidney.
“I had been walking around with it for four years with no symptoms,” Chuck recalls, encouraging everyone to be proactive about their health and be their own advocate in pressing for answers as he did.
The kidney was removed, but something else was left in its place: a renewed appreciation for life and a desire to help others even more.
“We are here to help each other.”
From those of us who share in the love of organized sports and have watched our children grow and develop through their participation - all captured by Chuck’s professional photography - to those of us who have fought the battle with cancer, we say: “Thanks Chuck!” for sharing your talent and time to help others.