Sudbury

Ryan Lougheed working to bring blue light cystoscopy to Sudbury

A fateful trip to his cottage changed Ryan Lougheed's life forever.

Group has been pushing to acquire rare blue light cystoscopy

Ryan Lougheed has been helping to raise awareness of bladder cancer in Sudbury. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

Ryan Lougheed of Sudbury went to the bathroom a couple years ago, and it changed his life.

There was blood in the bowl.

"I was up at my cottage and I was working on a shed and had to go to the washroom," Lougheed said. "There was a little bit of complications with it, which was abnormal so later on that evening I went to the washroom and I saw blood in my urine and immediately called the doctor."

Doctors soon after diagnosed Ryan with bladder cancer, and he's been fighting it ever since.

"It was surreal," he said. "I didn't really know what was happening. And I decided that I could take this battle on my own hands and go forward from there."

"But all kinds of weird thoughts, like I'm going to die, what is my wife going to do? It's a tornado of thoughts inside your head."

Ryan Lougheed (middle) has been partnering with community groups to raise money for blue light cystocscopy. (Submitted by Ryan Lougheed)

After an initial round of treatment, Lougheed also heard about a specialized tool to detect bladder cancer.

"I had a friend that had sent me an article from Maclean's magazine that had this special instrument specific to bladder cancer detection, as well as removal," he said. 

The tool is called blue light cystoscopy.

"I asked my doctor right away about it and he explained a little bit more about it with me and I decided at that point in time we need one of these in Sudbury."

The challenge for Lougheed, and for others with bladder cancer, is that Sudbury does not have such a tool. 

"They're fairly rare across Canada," Lougheed said. "It's something that's been approved by Health Canada for quite some time now probably three to five years. But there's probably only eight to 10 instruments across the country."

Lougheed decided he would help lead the charge to get one in the city, and to raise awareness of the disease. 

The campaign currently sits around $100,000, as it rolls into a fundraising weekend. Lougheed has teamed up with Ionic Engineering and the Northern Cancer Foundation for the Sudbury Fitness Challenge as they push to raise enough money for the new bladder cancer technology.

You can visit the Facebook page by clicking here.

Ryan Lougheed of Sudbury was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2017. He's raising funds to help bring a diagnostic piece of equipment that would make it easier to detect and treat bladder cancer. He dropped by our studio to tell his story and talk about the benefits of having the new equipment at Health Sciences North in Sudbury. 8:14

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