Support a valued colleague in cancer journey


An inspiring member of our community needs our help.

This past June, Cheryl Heykoop received her Doctor of Social Sciences degree. One month later, she was diagnosed with cancer.

Cheryl has dedicated her life to helping others. Her work in the field of child rights involves travelling to post-conflict zones to hear the stories of young people who have been affected and help them find their voice and their path to healing. Her dissertation – “Our Stories Matter, Our Own Way: The Safe and Meaningful Engagement of Young People in Post-Conflict Truth Telling in Northern Uganda” – exemplified this work.

Cheryl has and continues to be an important Royal Roads ambassador. She has lent her story and her voices in support of the university on many occasions.  

A fundraiser has been set up to support Cheryl financially through her journey with lymphoma. This trying time will prove challenging in many ways, and donating to this fund is one way in which we can support her. The funds will go directly to her account. Donations can be made anonymously.

“In my life I’ve been blessed with opportunities to explore the world and experience the profound beauty and pain of humanity,” Cheryl writes on her blog. “I remain awe-inspired by the strength and courage of people to make the world a better place, and I also feel grateful to have wonderful friends and family alongside me.”

“Life has also had its discontents, and the last year has been particularly challenging – my partnership ended, I completed my doctorate, and I was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma. It’s been an intense time to say the least.

“Traversing this complexity has been, and is, interesting. There are moments when I feel sadness, anger and confusion, and others when I feel profound hope and gratitude. I am also discovering my courage and strength; I am finding me!”

You can donate here:

Read more about Cheryl's work as the Education and Deputy Director for the International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD) and her research as a Royal Roads doctoral student in 2012 and 2014 stories on the Royal Roads website.