Remembering Dr. Canning
Dear A-BE-C family and friends,
It has taken me several days to process the devastating reality that we lost Dr. Douglas A. Canning unexpectedly, after a tragic bicycle accident. He passed away peacefully, surrounded by his beloved family on Monday, May 30, 2022.
Dr. Canning’s loss is immeasurable to our BE community here in the United States and around the world. I know that as much as we will miss him as our colleague and friend, the loss to his patients and their families is particularly acute. You have lost a physician who was a pioneer in bladder exstrophy and epispadias surgery, and cared deeply about you. A-BE-C has lost an advisory board member, a leader, a mentor and a friend.
Dr. Canning gave of himself completely in doing his utmost to improve every child’s life that he touched, to the best of his ability. He always put his patients’ care, safety and quality of life first in every conversation and plan of care. The entire BE community will miss his tremendous passion, kindness, availability and great skill.
I was most impressed with Dr. Canning’s commitment as a lifelong learner of how to make the lives of those living with bladder exstrophy better. He listened to his patients and their families.
Over the past several days I have spoken to many grief-stricken families and colleagues. As much as none of us are not ready to say good-bye, I know in my heart that Dr. Canning would want us to continue his legacy and to support each other through this difficult time. The child life team at CHOP has arranged grief counseling services for Dr. Canning’s patients and you can speak with someone by calling 215-590-2754. For the larger BE community, A-BE-C has social workers who are willing to talk and work through the sense of loss we are all feeling.
I know that you all will join me in sharing our deepest condolences to Dr. Canning’s wife, Annabelle, and his three children, John, Caroline, and Maddy. I would also like to thank them for sharing his time and energy with our community so he could help children all over the world realize their greatest life purpose and potential. Our gratitude is immense.
After much consideration, the CHOP team has decided to proceed with the MIBEC picnic as planned on June 11th. This gathering will bring us all together to mourn and celebrate our leader, our doctor, our colleague and our friend.
Dr. Aseem Shukla and Dr. Dana Weiss will be in contact with those of you who had surgeries and visits scheduled to further discuss your plans. They are both available anytime to meet in person, video call or telephone to discuss this devastating news and their commitment to you to continue providing excellent care for your child.
I will always remember Doug’s infectious smile, the joy on his face when watching monkeys play on the fence outside Civil Hospital, jogging through the airport during long layovers, taking 10 minute naps anywhere, and the big hugs he gave to all his patients.
He will be greatly and forever missed and his legacy and memory will carry on in all of the lives he has touched.
President, Association for the Bladder Exstrophy Community