Luke Harris, from Aldergrove, was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer in late February. Him and his girlfriend remain in self-isolation with exception of trips for treatment and socially distant walks outside. (Submitted photo)

Luke Harris, from Aldergrove, was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer in late February. Him and his girlfriend remain in self-isolation with exception of trips for treatment and socially distant walks outside. (Submitted photo)

Aldergrove man battles ‘really scary’ stage four cancer diagnosis amid COVID-19 crisis

Luke Harris and girlfriend Ashley are out of work and in self isolation, due in part to the pandemic

An Aldergrove truck driver was recently diagnosed with stage four colon cancer, a battle made increasingly more difficult by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Luke Harris – after visiting a local walk-in clinic Feb. 26 – was told to head straight to Langley Memorial Hospital’s emergency room.

His partner of five years, Ashley Ferguson, said when she got there “he was dripping sweat, with a puddle of it on the ground and he was white as a ghost” from abdominal pain.

It was seeing “the strongest person she knows” collapse in tears, that Ferguson knew something was terribly wrong.

“It was really disheartening when nobody listens to you and just looks at you like just another number in the ER and tries to get you in-and-out quickly,” Ferguson related.

Eventually, blood test results from the walk-in clinic proved Harris had some sort of infection due to high protein concentrations discovered in his blood.

An ER doctor sent Harris for a CT scan, which revealed he had spots on his liver that appeared cancerous.

READ MORE: Cancer patients urged to keep all appointments if possible, despite COVID-19

After two more CT scans on Feb. 27, a surgeon told Harris they wanted to perform surgery to tackle what they thought was diverticulitis; infected pouches in his intestines.

After six-and-a-half hours in surgery, Harris came out with a stage four colon cancer diagnosis and a colostomy bag.

There had been a tumour that broke through Harris’ colon wall, causing the extreme abdominal pain and a host of other symptoms.

“He was shocked to come out with a colostomy bag,” his girlfriend said, but the hospital’s post-op nurses and porters were very supportive as Harris navigated the new territory.

The cancer has also spread to his liver, she added. Harris’ prognosis is that without chemotherapy he would have three months left to live.

“It has made him realize how precious time is and how important the people around you really are,” Ferguson said.

Fighting cancer in self-isolation

Harris isn’t giving up his fight with cancer, he said.

He started oral chemotherapy on Monday, and has switched to a plant-based diet at the advice of his BC Cancer Agency doctor.

Harris will start liquid chemotherapy treatment at Abbotsford Regional Hospital’s cancer centre in just over a week.

“I’m doing everything I can to fight this,” he said.

Though, both Harris and his girlfriend have been out of work due in part to the diagnosis.

Harris is now on medical Employment Insurance (EI) and Ferguson hasn’t been able to operate her house cleaning business due to the impacts of COVID-19.

The diagnosis, combined with complications from the pandemic, have compounded bills the couple still has to pay for their home and mortgage.

The couple has started a GoFundMe campaign to help with the cost of his naturopathic oncologist treatments and supplements not covered on MSP.

So far the web page has raised over $11,000 for Harris’ fight to live.

“It would mean so much to have help to alleviate the financial strain due to being off work,” Ferguson added.

The couple is currently self-isolating at home, with their two dogs, during Harris’ first weeks of treatment.

“We take walks, wear masks, make memories, and laugh and eat delicious vegetarian food. It is not so bad,” Ferguson said.

READ MORE: An inside look at the COVID-19 battle at Langley Memorial Hospital

But Ferguson said she doesn’t want to do this life without him. 

As of now, “the unknown is really scary and still lingers in the back of our minds. But we are being positive and praying for the best,” she said.

Harris has also used his time in recovery to urge people with a family history of cancer to get screened for the disease.

Both of his grandparents had bowel and colorectal cancer, he said.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Aldergrove man battles ‘really scary’ stage four cancer diagnosis amid COVID-19 crisis

Aldergrove man battles ‘really scary’ stage four cancer diagnosis amid COVID-19 crisis

Just Posted

Joel Goddard and Susie Fletcher are parents of a baby son. Joel hasn’t been seen since Nov. 10. (Missing Joel Goddard Facebook page)
Family and friends continue searching for missing Langley father

Helicopters, drones and foot searches planned in the coming days

Assistant fire chief Dale Steeple, deputy fire chief Darren Lee, and assistant fire chief Andy Hewitson are the Township’s latest hires in leadership roles. (Bruce Ferguson/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Township fire welcomes new members to leadership roles

Department hired two assistant fire chiefs and deputy fire chief

Suspected cocaine, opioids, cash, and ledgers were seized in raids on Nov. 21. (Langley RCMP/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Three arrested in raid on Langley dial-a-dope ring

Police say the suspects were selling into the Aldergrove area

Langley School District is asking parents and students to prepare for the “possibility” of return to remote learning. (Unsplash photo)
District asks Langley students to prepare for ‘possibility of remote learning’

Two more schools were issued COVID-19 exposure alerts Tuesday

Langley residents took their questions and concerns to TransLink’s open house at Langley City Hall in November of 2019. (Langley Advance Times files)
LETTER: Langley MP’s SkyTrain request will go nowhere

Liberal government will ignore Conservative MP’s call for SkyTrain funding

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

File photo
Surrey RCMP investigating death threat against Surrey councillor

‘On Monday morning I received a threat on messenger that basically said to put a bullet in me,’ Councillor Jack Hundial told the Now-Leader

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

Most Read