Lance Relland

Lance Relland not only knows all about fighting battles, he knows how to win them. Five years ago he was a dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet at the age of 16. Then tragedy struck. Suffering from what the Alberta Métis youth first thought was only the flu, tests soon revealed he had leukemia. The case looked bleak. Mr. Relland’s best chance of survival was an experimental treatment at the University of Minnesota. When the Alberta health plan announced it wouldn’t pay, the young man kicked into high gear. The Lance Relland Medical Foundation was born. More than $100,000 was raised and Mr. Relland traveled to Minneapolis and went through the experimental procedures. After a bone marrow transplant and brutal therapy, Mr. Relland was soon a healthy, athletic and dedicated Métis folk dancer once again. Now fully conscious that less than one per cent of registered bone marrow donors in Canada are Aboriginal, Mr. Relland created the Aboriginal Bone Marrow Registries Association. It aims to add potential bone marrow donors to its data bank each year, saving lives along the way. Now 21, Mr. Relland is studying medicine at the University of California. In second year, he was the only student to finish his program with a perfect grade point average. He’s at the top of his class and Mr. Relland has been on the Dean’s List every quarter. Luckily for all of us, Lance Relland will soon be a doctor. Already, his past in mind, Mr. Relland is an advocate for patient’s rights. He will be a Métis doctor like no other.