Luke Rawick with his wife Angelica at their home in Langley. While on their honeymoon

Langley newlyweds stay positive despite cancer diagnosis on honeymoon

Colleagues are rallying to help 21-year-old Luke Rawick, and his new bride Angelica, during his battle with stage 3 cancer.

  • Jan. 28, 2016 7:00 a.m.

by Larissa Cahute

Special to the Langley Advance

Langley‘s Luke Rawick, 21, didn’t get much time to be a newlywed.

Married Nov. 28, he and his new wife, Angelica, 24, were quickly thrown into the thick of married life after a cancer diagnosis derailed their honeymoon in Victoria.

Only three days into the December trip, he discovered a lump. The couple rushed to an emergency room on the Island and doctors shipped them back to Langley Memorial Hospital, where he was diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer.

The disease had already spread through his bloodstream and into his lungs.

Before the diagnosis, Rawick was looking forward to his future with Angelica. He planned on going to school and “just having a normal life and just being happy.”

“Now I’m more worried for my future and providing for my wife … being a good husband,” Rawick said.

He has since had the tumour removed and his prognosis looks promising, but he still must go through six rounds of chemotherapy. He originally hoped to hang onto his shifts at the Langley Milestones – where he’s worked as a line cook for the past three years – while he undergoes treatment, but the side effects of chemo are too severe.

“I tried to work as long as I could,” he said. “But as soon as I got into chemo, it just hit me really hard. I had no energy. I’m just exhausted, nauseated.”

With Rawick off work and his wife working only part-time at Winners while she cares for her husband, the couple is struggling.

Fortunately, Rawick’s colleagues at Milestones have rallied to help. They started a GoFundMe page and hosted a Burger and Beer Fundraiser Wednesday night.

“When we found out that one of our own people was experiencing this and having to battle through this difficult time, we poured everything we had into helping him,” the

restaurant’s general manager, Rick Hilliard, said. “I don’t know about you, but when I was 21 I sure didn’t have much of a savings.

“We just want to ease his battle in any way we can. If Luke doesn’t have to worry about putting food in his fridge and being able to pay his bills … and can put all his effort and energy and focus onto actually beating this, that’s the most important thing.”

Jaivin Khatri, who has previously worked with Rawick in Langley but is now a manager at the Park Royal location, has been pulling double shifts to help with the fundraiser.

“When I heard the news, it was like one of my own family members was going through this,” Khatri said. “But … seeing everyone come together to support Luke and hearing how positive he is throughout the whole thing – it’s a little inspiring.”

When speaking with Rawick, that positivity is almost shocking.

“It is scary to have cancer … and, yes, this sucks, but the probability of me surviving is very high and I’m trying to keep positive,” Rawick told The Province, adding he’s “in awe” of his colleagues’ generosity.

“I’m still pretty young, still figuring out what I want to do and I’m excited to (get there).”

According to Khatri, that kind of response is expected from Rawick.

“He’ll keep on trucking through, regardless of the situation. He always keeps calm, cool and collected,” he said. “That’s what I admire about him the most, he’s just a genuinely great guy. The least we can do is rally together and try to support him.”

The B.C. Hospitality Foundation, a charity that provides emergency financial aid to hospitality workers, has offered to match every dollar raised at the Wednesday event, up to $7,500.

To donate to the Langley Milestones’ fundraising efforts for Rawick, visit the GoFundMe page at gofundme.com/q8h8mx9v, call Milestones at 604-514-9000 or email milestones5208@cara.com.

– Larissa Cahute is a reporter with The Province
• Click here to view more stories from The Province

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