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Robin Anne McGee

1961-2024

Robin Anne McGee
Robin Anne McGee

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Robin Anne McGee, age 62, of Port Williams, NS. Throughout her life, Robin’s large spirit demonstrated a rare and precious combination of wisdom, courage, determination, warmth and humour. She was driven by a constant desire to love life and make the world a better place.

Robin was born to the late Robert and Jeanette (Wright) McGee on October 1, 1961, in Victoria, BC. At a young age, her family moved to Nepean, ON, where she began her habit of collecting life-long friends and admirers. In her youth, Robin sought adventure in Junior Forest Rangers, Sea Cadets, and IVCF. After completing a BA and a Master’s degree at Carlton she moved to London, ON to earn a PhD in Psychology at Western University. It was there that Robin and Andrew met and hitched their lives together, a perfect complement to one another.

In 1994 they moved to the Annapolis Valley, NS and began their family and careers. Robin applied her boundless energy and unique style to her work in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team at the VRH, at The Oaktree/Nexus Centre for Youth, teaching at Acadia University, as author and co-author of many published research papers (which collectively have been cited over 1,000 times), years of part-time private practice in psychology, and ultimately as a Psychology Consultant for the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board/Centre for Education. Outside of work she was an active supporter of the "Twin to Win" campaign, coached children’s soccer, and played women’s soccer in the Seven-a-side League. Robin was passionate about the practice of Psychology in Nova Scotia. A devoted supervisor and mentor, she served as President of the Association of Professional Psychologists of Nova Scotia, and Chair/board member of the Board of Examiners of Psychology of Nova Scotia.

Following her cancer diagnosis in 2010, Robin wrote and published The Cancer Olympics, highlighting opportunities for improvement in cancer diagnosis and treatment, and inspiring others to take a positive and pragmatic, self-advocating approach to their own healthcare. The book documented her journey, including her orchestration of a grass-roots effort that brought Nova Scotia’s standard of care for rectal cancer in line with the rest of the developed world. The Cancer Olympics garnered several awards, and Robin received hundreds of messages from people thanking her for the impact of her words. She continued this outreach by creating a Cancer Olympics blog, where she shared her ongoing challenges, achievements, and musings, weaving each entry together with a popular song.

She didn’t stop there. Throwing herself into volunteer activities related to improving the experiences of others coping with medical challenges, Robin became a patient representative working on the development of improved standards for early detection in Nova Scotia; coached countless people newly diagnosed with CRC through CCRAN; worked passionately with Patients for Patient Safety Canada bringing the voice of harmed patients into healthcare conversations; was a top fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life; served as a guest lecturer training healthcare workers; and was a guest speaker for numerous CBC programs, podcasts, and countless other initiatives. Her contributions were recognized with The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers from the Governor General of Canada, and The Canadian Cancer Society’s Medal of Courage.

In her "leisure" time, Robin loved reading, visiting friends and family, travel and camping. She was famous for her elaborate Halloween displays and performances for trick-or-treaters, and hosting viewing/discussion parties for each year’s Oscar contender movies.

For the past 14 years, Robin lived with a medical prognosis of less than two years. With her steadfast focus on making the most of whatever time she had left, she defied all expectations, showing us all what an astonishing woman she was. If one could discover and bottle that essence of Robin’s genuine courage and determination, it would be a gift to the world. How lucky are we to have been invited to share this journey with her. Her spirit will live on in our hearts and memories.

Robin is survived by husband, Andrew Hurst; son, Austin (Hannah Alpern) Hurst; brothers, James, David and Mark; sisters, Gail, Debbie and Janine (her "Irish Twin"); and her beloved cat, Bowie. Cremation has taken place. There will be no visitation. A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, 2024 in the Festival Theatre Building located at 504 Main Street, Wolfville. A livestream link will be available for those unable to attend on the White Family Funeral Home webpage. Donations in memory of Robin may be made to any of the following organizations that were/are important to us:

1) Patients for Patient Safety Canada, https://www.patients4safety.ca (e-transfers to [email protected]) (Unfortunately they are not yet a registered charity, but they are an organization in which Robin was deeply invested.)
2) Canadian Colorectal Cancer Network, https://www.ccran.org. A registered charity organization which contributed greatly to Robin’s knowledge of and access to options that certainly improved her quality and quantity of life since diagnosis.
3) Valley Regional Hospital Foundation – Hospice/Palliative Care (also a registered charity). https://www.vrhfoundation.ca/memorial-in-honour-gifts/ If you donate as a tribute in Robin’s name, your funds will be added to a legacy initiative to improve options, information, and facilities for end-of-life care.

Note: If preferred, donations to the two registered charities can be made through Canada Helps.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the White Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Kentville. Online condolences and inquiries may be directed to www.whitefamilyfuneralhome.com.

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Service Date
Saturday, July 27, 2024
Service Time
2:00 p.m.
Service Location
Festival Theatre Building, 504 Main Street, Wolfville, NS

Visitation
There will be no visitation, by request.

Requested Charity
Please see the obituary.