By Kat Aptekar
Thursday, June 18, 2015 8:30 am ·  0 Comments
“I couldn’t ask for a better way to spend Father’s Day! This year I will be surrounded by my closest family and friends who will join me to keep my son’s legacy alive. It doesn’t get any better than this!”
These are the words of Dave Coules smiling alongside his wife Leslie as he explains why this year’s Father’s Day will be one he will never forget. Losing their son Adam in 2012 to brain cancer has sparked a family tradition to participate annually in the Journey to Conquer Cancer Run or Walk 5K followed by breakfast at Adams favourite breakfast spot, Golden Griddle.
On Sunday, June 21, 2015, the Coules family and the rest of the A-Team will be walking for ‘Head for a Cure’ in Adam’s memory. The funds raised will go to promote education and research for brain tumours through the Adam Coules Legacy Fund at the Gerry and Nancy Pencer Brain Tumor Centre.
Adam’s story began in late 2006. It started while he was busy completing his internship for an accounting firm in Toronto when he unexpectedly had a seizure. With no prior symptoms, Adam and his family were in complete and utter shock.
Immediately taken to Toronto General, it was discovered that Adam had a grade two Oligodendroglioma brain tumour. Within 48 hours of being diagnosed, Adam would be in contact with doctors and would soon face his first surgery where 95 percent of his tumor would be successfully removed.
Following surgery, doctors then transferred Adam to the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre where he would receive five weeks of radiation while completing his final year at McMaster University. Despite these on-going treatments, Adam was able to graduate that spring on the Dean’s list with an Honours Bachelor of Commerce.
“Adam always thought of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre as a second home. It was a place for him to stay hopeful and receive the emotional support he needed to continue to tell his story,” said Leslie, Adam’s mother.
Not long after completing his radiation, the Coules family would create the ‘A-Team’ and participate in their first 5K Run or Walk in 2007. Committed to making a difference, Adam joined the Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC) at the Pencer Centre and also spent his time and effort in creating awareness and raising funds. With the help of his family and friends, Adam in his first year raised over $20,000 for the Gerry and Nancy Pencer Brain Trust.
What followed next would be four amazing years of tumor stability where Adam would take this opportunity to live his life the way he wanted. He didn’t waste any time and took a year sabbatical and traveled to Asia with his fiancée Nicole. Having time to reflect on what he wanted in life gave him the courage to find his true passion and he went on to train as a pastry chef.
Unfortunately in January 2011, Adam had another seizure at work and later received the news that his tumor had begun to grow again. The next six months would be filled with chemotherapy, and three additional brain surgeries. It was on August 31, 2012 when Adam lost his battle to brain cancer at the young age of 28.
“One of the things Adam was most passionate about was supporting brain cancer research and making the lives of those affected easier,” said Dave Coules. “As his father, I cannot fully express in words how proud I am of Adam and to have raised a young man with such strength and courage.”
Over the last six years, the ‘A Team’ has collectively raised over well in excess of $100 000 for Head for a Cure. The Coules family continues to remain passionate and committed to continuing Adam’s legacy.
“The work is far from complete and we will keep raising funds until we find a cure for cancer,” says Leslie. “For us, Adam is our why! We walk every year rain or shine to keep his spirit and legacy alive. Adam would want us to continue what he started… and that is to share his story and keep fundraising to find a cure for brain cancer!”
Join the Coules family, the rest of the A-Team and the many other participants who will be walking or running to support the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. For more information about the Journey to Conquer Cancer Run or Walk 5K and to donate to Adam’s team go to http://www.headforacure.ca/
Adam Coules, Adam Coules Legacy Fund, brain cancer research, Brain Tumor, Coules family, Dave Coules, Father's Day, Gerry and Nancy Pencer Brain Trust, Head for a Cure, Journey to Conquer Cancer Run or Walk 5K, Leslie Coules, McMaster University, Oligodendroglioma, Patient & Family Advisory Council, Pencer Centre, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, radiation