April 4, 2022
It’s been almost two years since Cory Knutson lost his dad Larry to cancer. That’s why his role in the construction of the new Calgary Cancer Centre means so much to him and his family. Photo supplied.
In better days, before he lost his battle to cancer, Larry Knutson loved the muscle cars of the ‘60s. Photo supplied.
Story by Jennifer Green
CALGARY — For many involved in the ongoing planning, construction and commissioning of the new Calgary Cancer Centre, it’s been a labour of love. This is true as well for Cory Knutson, however, it’s become so much more than just a building.
“On the first of April, 2016, my father Larry was diagnosed with multiple myeloma,” says Knutson, a project manager with PCL Construction, the company responsible for the construction of the centre. He and his loved ones were heartbroken to watch their family patriarch prematurely age before their eyes.
Sadly, on May 3, 2020, Knutson’s father lost his battle with cancer, despite the treatment and compassionate care he received from his medical team. “The AHS staff were so supportive through all the chemo rounds, ambulance rides, the many research sessions to locate potential treatment options, and the end-of-life home care. My dad left a strong personal legacy behind of faith, hope and love.”
Looking to the future, Knutson says he’s very excited for the new cancer centre, since he enjoys one of the “best seats in the house”. Thanks to his hands-on role in its construction, he knows the quality and technology that are being put into this life-saving facility.
“I enjoy my current role because I get to see the building come alive a little more each day,” he adds. “I get great satisfaction from seeing my ideas and direction transformed into physical installations inside the building. I know my efforts will help make this the best possible building for AHS staff to offer quality care for patients like my father.
“While I could go on at length about the Calgary Cancer Centre’s MR Linacs, laboratory spaces, abundant natural light and open courtyards — and all the various building technology systems that I see daily — to me this building project truly is a labour of love that’s ‘Building Hope’ one day at a time.
“Working within this building, and after having lost my father, I know what a difference this building will make to those who have yet to start their own cancer journey.”
Learn more about the Calgary Cancer Centre, which is set to open in 2023.
Cory Knutson plays two roles in the project. Firstly, he works with two subcontractors to coordinate mechanical and electrical aspects of design and construction. Secondly, as a commissioning lead, he manages his team to ensure all facility systems are functional, tested thoroughly and integrated together, so when AHS moves into the building, it will be fully functional and operational.