Giving back comes full circle in Cape Breton. Jill Taylor's Story

Jill Taylor is joined by partner Rob and Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation staff, Mark Inglis
Jill Taylor is joined by partner Rob and Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation staff, Mark Inglis in one of her favourite places, the Highland Arts Theatre. In 2016, Jill's oncologist pushed back her chemotherapy to allow her to perform in the Christmas Carol and he came to watch her on this stage. Name of Photographer: Matthew Ingraham

Every year, more than 1,400 Cape Bretoners are diagnosed with cancer. The Cape Breton Cancer Centre Social Worker, Tom MacNeil identified an increasing need to not only support patients through their journey with cancer emotionally, but also financially. Many patients struggle - having to leave work due to illness, or choose between the costs of medications not covered by insurance and their daily expenses like food, shelter and transportation.

The Cancer Patient Care Fund was created to ensure that no patient had to choose between treatment and life's basic needs. The fund supports patients with various needs including: travel and transportation, medication costs, household costs, and more.
Jill Taylor, is the perfect example of why giving matters. She gave to the cancer patient care fund when she could and 5 years later, it all came full circle. This is Jill’s story…

 “Cancer. It's scary. The illness is a group of cells growing where they don't belong. The cure is a community of people rallying around the person with the illness. Medical professionals are on the frontline, but behind the lines are friends, family, colleagues, and supporters. And without ¬¬--the entire team, the fight can seem insurmountable. I'm Jill Taylor and I live in Sydney River. I am a substitute teacher and an online math tutor. And, I suppose, this is my story...

In 2012, my former partner (a then recent cancer survivor) and I hosted a dance fundraiser in Baddeck and, with the help of friends, raised $4,000 to donate to the Cancer Patient Care Fund and the Cape Breton Cancer Centre. We learned that funding would be used to help people who face the financial struggles of a cancer diagnosis, and to help fund equipment for treatment options to be available in Cape Breton. We had seen how destructive cancer could be first hand and we wanted to give back to our community. I saw the discomfort, I saw the sadness, and I saw the scars. But, I hadn't lived them. Not yet. Change is inevitable in life.” 

Just this year, it was Jill who was diagnosed with cancer. After a discovery, a diagnosis, and treatment, Jill is in recovery and her health is great. The cancer diagnosis did not come without financial burden though. 

“The Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation is a registered charity and is responsible for raising and administering funds to help people like me. Through the Cancer Patient Care Fund, I recently received funding to help defray the costs associated with my medical procedures and travel expenses for appointments outside of Cape Breton. When I raised money for the Foundation, little did I know that I was contributing to my future health. They rely on ongoing donor and community support, but being helped by the very program I helped to support really brings this story full circle. And there are few people in Cape Breton who aren't touched by cancer.”

To read Jill’s full story, visit and give back today.