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Geoff has returned to doing what he loves thanks to ground breaking treatment at The Princess Margaret

Geoff Gericke was an active and adventurous 33-year-old physical education teacher when he got news in early 2016 that changed everything – he had mesothelioma.

Most patients with this aggressive type of cancer don’t survive beyond two years. Caused primarily by workplace asbestos exposure with a long latency period, Geoff was baffled as to how he developed it.

“It was all quite a shock and a mystery. It was devastating based on what I was told about the disease and how severe it is,” he recalls.

The married father of two young girls knew he wanted the best treatment possible – even if it meant leaving his home province of B.C.

He was referred to Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and received a ground breaking treatment developed by Drs. Marc de Perrot and John Cho called SMART (Surgery for Mesothelioma After Radiation Therapy).

He underwent intensive radiation before having surgery to remove the lining of his chest wall and his lung.

Geoff, now 37, has returned to many of the activities he used to enjoy.

“I’ve been able to return to being a mostly energetic dad to some young energetic kids and I’ve been able to get back to, on a different level, doing things I always loved to do like riding my bike and skiing in the winter.”

Even though Geoff could get his postoperative CT scans and check-ups done closer to home, he still comes to Toronto every six months to see Drs. de Perrot and Cho because of the trust he has in them.

He is grateful for the excellent care he has received and encourages everyone to purchase a Home Lottery ticket to further support world-leading research at The Princess Margaret.

“I’m incredibly grateful for the past fundraising efforts that made my treatment possible. It just wouldn’t happen without generous support.”

Photo credit: Scott Carrier/Infinite Inspiration