Turning a health challenge into a life-changing opportunity

Nobody, honestly, nobody lives life to fullest quite like Mike Irwin. The 54-year-old resident of Fort Nelson, BC jumps, runs, skates and dives through it. But what’s truly remarkable about Mike is that he continued this adventurous living even after he was diagnosed with bronchiectasis in 2010.

Bronchiectasis (bronky-ECK-tuh-sis) is an abnormal widening of the bronchi, the tubes that bring air in and out of the lungs. People who have this condition cannot clear phlegm from their lungs, which creates chronic coughing and respiratory infections.

Bronchiesctasis can also lead to other complications; in Mike’s case, the partial collapse of his right lung.

As this disease progressed, lung surgery bacame inevitable. But Mike, instead of getting down, got motivated.  

“Well, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have private moments where I get pretty concerned,” he admits. “But, I looked at this as my opportunity – my Stanley Cup Final – and I know I’m going to come out a winner. If I start feeling sorry for myself, it’ll just bring me down and make me sicker. I have a lot of living left to do.”

Since coming out of surgery, Mike has completed three half-marathons, participated in our annual Stairclimb fundraiser (only a month after surgery) and initiated a personal campaign to spread awareness about the importance of exercise in his Fort Nelson community. If the past is any indication of Mike's abilitiy to seek adventure in life, we can't wait to hear about what's next for him!

Page Last Updated: 18/07/2019