Calgary man whose brain cancer surgery was delayed by COVID-19 finds hope in producing election podcast

A Calgary man has been helping voters through a podcast filled with debates and interviews with municipal election candidates, and he's doing it while struggling with brain cancer and dealing with a cancelled surgery. Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports.

A Calgary man has been helping voters through a podcast filled with debates and interviews with municipal election candidates — and he’s doing it while struggling with brain cancer and dealing with a cancelled surgery.

Christopher Brown started a podcast called Cross Border Interviews in 2019, speaking with guests across the political spectrum.

This year, the 35-year-old set a goal: to talk to every candidate running in Calgary’s municipal election.

“I decided there is an election coming up. I don’t know who the heck I’m voting for, so let’s talk to as many candidates as I possibly can,” Brown said.

Brown has done 51 interviews with Calgary candidates and hosted eight ward debates.

It’s a lot of work for anyone — especially challenging when struggling with brain cancer.

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“During one of the debates that we were hosting, I actually lost control of my hand. I couldn’t use it in the middle of a live debate. It was scary. I pushed through it because I had to, but the symptoms are getting worse every day,” Brown said.

Brown was diagnosed in July 2020. He’s been losing his vision and memory. There are times when he can’t use his hands and legs.

‘There’s nothing I can do’

Last month, Brown was told his scheduled Sept. 9 surgery to remove two tumours was put on hold because of COVID-19’s fourth wave.

“There’s nothing I can do about it, and that’s the scary part about it. There’s nothing I can do. I just have to wait, and the waiting is the worst part about this whole ordeal,” Brown said.

As word of the popular podcast got out during the campaign, Brown said candidates started approaching him to be interviewed.

He said a few have turned him down, including one candidate who declined because Brown is married to former NDP MLA Ricardo Miranda. Brown said the show isn’t about party politics — just conversations.

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Brown considers himself lucky because he has found something to take his mind off his declining health.

“This show has shown me that if you find something you love, that you enjoy in the darkest of times, that joy will bring you some glimmer of hope. That’s what I’m fighting for: a glimmer of hope,” Brown said.

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Brown hopes that through his work, voters will be better informed come Monday.

He’s also hoping for some good news on Wednesday when he’s expected to get an update on his postponed surgery.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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