Calm, Steady, Strong

New Fund is bringing peace and connection to cancer patients through yoga.

Diagnosed with cancer at 19, Emily Halliday felt let down by her body.

“We all think we have a certain life expectancy — and I felt betrayed,” Halliday says. Dealing with the pain and trauma of treatment for Hodgkin’s disease, a cancer of the lymph nodes, she found herself mentally disconnecting with her body as a coping mechanism. She beat the cancer, but the effects of the battle  lingered. She dealt with frequent injuries and pain.

That’s when she discovered Susi Hately. Owner of Functional Synergy, Hately specializes in helping people cope with illness, injury and recovery by teaching them therapeutic yoga.

“Susi helped me connect again, accept where I was and work with where I am. I now feel more calm in life,” Halliday says. With a background in kinesiology, Hately created the YogaThrive program in 2002 with the University of Calgary to study the effects of yoga on cancer patients. A passion for helping people then spurred her to create the Calm, Steady, Strong Fund at Calgary Foundation, to provide yoga instruction and resources for people dealing with or recovering from cancer.

“People have told me that when they leave their final chemo or radiation treatment, they look for an acknowledgement — ‘you’re done.’ But nothing happens,” Hately says. “The Fund really serves the ‘now what?’”

Her relationship with Calgary Foundation includes the Megan Hately Legacy Fund, set up by her family in memory of Susi’s late sister. The fund helps provide outdoor experiences for disabled people.

“I got a desire to serve from my parents,” Hately says. “If I have a skill or resources to help someone else, I’ll do it.”


Story by Cara Casey

Dated Fall 2013