A 22-year-old man who lost his battle to cancer on Friday has left a lasting impression on cancer research.
A month before Jeremy Ingham passed, he donated the money he had saved to further his education to the IWK Foundation, establishing the Jeremy Ingham Cancer Research Trust.
"He wasn't somebody who was just happy with going through life and experiencing things," says his uncle, Andrew Ingham. "He wanted to change things and make things better for other people and I think this fund is certainly a way to continue his legacy of helping others deal with cancer."
Jeremy was diagnosed with a rare bone tumour in his hip when he was 17 and underwent treatment with surgery and chemotherapy, according to Andrew. When the disease came back in his hip and moved into his chest, it didn't respond to further treatment.
"All the time he was trying to maintain his studying at university when he could, even through some of the treatments," Andrew says.
Jeremy graduated from Acadia University with an undergraduate degree in biochemistry in October 2017.
When he realized he wouldn't be able to become a physician and cancer researcher, he set out to establish an award so other undergraduate students could live out his dream, pursuing cancer research.
"He was a great inspiration to Acadia and the whole Wolfville community," Andrew says. "I think a lot of the students and faculty saw him as an inspiration for the strength that he displayed dealing with his battle with cancer yet still wanting to continue to learn and always staying positive."
The Jeremy Ingham Cancer Research Award will be presented annually to a science student in Atlantic Canada who is engaged in cancer research and wants to improve the outcome for patients - particularly those who are children and young adults.
"He loved learning and was a life-long learner," Andrew says. "If he would have continued on, I am sure he would have been in the medical field as a clinician or a researcher."
In an article published last week, Jeremy told Acadia University about the importance of supporting undergraduate students.
"While most research is conducted by graduate students and professors, I see the value in training undergraduate students in cancer research as well," he says in the article. "It allows those who have a keen interest to get an early start. For those who are unsure, it offers a glance at what it’s like and gives them valuable experience nonetheless."
If the trust reaches $100,000 through additional donations made by the public, it will be turned into an endowment and will be self funding.
"He wanted to donate a significant amount of money to get the fund started and hopefully others would see it as a worthy cause and donate to establish it as self funding to continue on for many years to come," Andrew says.
When Andrew visited Jeremy before Christmas, he says the fund had reached more than $20,000.
"But I am sure over the last few days it has increased from there," he says.
For more information about the trust or to donate, visit the IWK Foundation website.