Derek Clark: finding wellness and connection through Wellspring
Embracing Wellspring’s Support
Derek Clark had a tough time finding a moment to chat about his wellness story because his calendar is so packed full of Wellspring programs!
At 74, the New Zealand native, who has lived most of his life in Canada, knows that the key to staying well, is to stay busy and connected to his dearly loved Wellspring community.
“I pretty much sign up for whatever I can,” he said. “It gets me out of my house and keeps my mind off some of the turmoil I can find myself in.”
Derek learned he had melanoma at age 65, shortly after retiring from a 20-year career in the concrete and building supply industry.
“I guess I really wasn’t that surprised since my father had melanoma as well after he retired. We lived in some hot places, including Australia for a few years, and I don’t think we gave much thought to sun protection.”
Luckily, doctors at Tom Baker Centre removed the cancerous mole on his arm and part of a lymph node and sent Derek back to regular check-ups at his dermatologist. He’s had a few more cancerous spots removed over the years, but mainly he’s been quite healthy.
“I never married and I don’t have any kids so it means a lot to have a community like Wellspring,” said Derek. “It gives me a safe peaceful place to go – an environment where I’m around a lot of good people who have been through struggles in their life, and we can support each other.”
Derek isn’t afraid to jump in and try almost anything Wellspring has to offer. He participates in Functional Yoga, Qigong, Men’s Group, golf, Living Well with Cancer, Bingo, and plenty of social events.
“My cancer experience was very minor compared to what some people at Wellspring have gone through, but it doesn’t matter – everyone treats you well. Everyone is just glad to be there,” he said.