Abbotsford veteran survives cancer scare, celebrates 95th birthday

Second World War veteran Andy Anderson receives socially distanced birthday party after health scare

When you’ve had 95 birthdays, it may be hard for one to stand out.

But for Abbotsford veteran Andy Anderson, who turned 95 on Sept. 19, number 95 will be one to remember – mostly because just a few months prior it was one he was told he would not see.

Anderson, who fought for Canada in the Second World War, originally checked into the Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre back on July 22 for bowel surgery. However, while at the hospital doctors discovered that he had colon cancer and believed he didn’t have very long left to live.

RELATED: Heart and Soles: Abbotsford’s Andy Anderson remembers the shoes that brought a smile

With no family nearby and in the COVID-19 era, Anderson was forced to tough out the disease on his own and miraculously he survived both the surgery and fought off the cancer.

He was moved to the PATH unit in Mission on Sept. 3 after he improved and then was eventually discharged from the Mission facility on Sept. 22.

His 95th birthday on Sept. 19 saw Anderson sit inside Abbotsford’s Crossroads Restaurant on Sumas Way, as friends drove by a window and waved and honked their horns. One friend rode his bicycle past the window and waved.

He then went to the Royal Canadian Legion, which featured more well wishers, a birthday cake and his friend’s band sang him ‘Happy Birthday’.

Anderson is well-known in the local table tennis community, as he established the Abbotsford Table Tennis Club in 1998 and is still very active in the club and the sport to this day.

The ATCC is still active during the pandemic, but have eliminated doubles competition from its regular schedule.

RELATED: Abbotsford Table Tennis Club seeks home

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