News / Calgary

Calgarians rally to help grant cancer patient's wish

Kim De Gagne said the support from Calgarians and surrounding communities has been "amazing"

Kim De Gagne at his Christmas tree lot in McKenzie Towne.

Jennifer Friesen/For Metro

Kim De Gagne at his Christmas tree lot in McKenzie Towne.

Kim De Gagne said he has received overwhelming support from Calgarians who want to help him take his wife on a trip to Hawaii, while he still can.

“This whole thing has really been on fire,” De Gagne said. 

The 62-year-old former dance instructor has multiple myeloma, an incurable blood and bone cancer. 

He has operated a Christmas tree lot in McKenzie Towne for several years, even though the physical labour it requires is getting more challenging since his diagnosis three years ago.

After sharing his story with Metro, he said many people have been purchasing their Christmas trees and stopping by to visit.

“I’m humbled by the support. I’ve had people here from Calgary and all the surrounding communities come by,” said De Gagne.

He said customers have even come from Airdrie, Didsbury, Hanna, and Okotoks.

“They came to visit (Calgary) for other reasons, and chose to get a tree here rather than anywhere else. I can’t believe it,” he said.

De Gagne expects he will be sold out of Christmas trees by mid-December, bringing him ever-closer to funding his Hawaii dream.

“I’m excited that I’m as busy as I am, it’s been amazing,” he said. 

An anonymous woman who owns a condominium in Hawaii stepped forward after hearing De Gagne’s story, and offered the couple a free week-long stay. 

Project Smile, a non-profit in Calgary that provides ‘help and happiness’ to those who need it, donated $500 towards the trip costs.

“Calgary’s a wonderful city,” said De Gagne, who has lived here for his entire life.

“This is the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me.”

De Gagne said a portion of the proceeds from his Christmas tree sales will be donated to multiple myeloma supports.

Jennifer Friesen/For Metro

De Gagne said a portion of the proceeds from his Christmas tree sales will be donated to multiple myeloma supports.

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