May Cause Radiance: A non-profit headed by local cancer warrior

Tessa Inkster displaying fundraiser mala beads. Photo by Ashly Narula, The Spiritual Photographer

On meeting Tessa Inkster her radiant energy and positivity is immediately apparent. It’s clear she’s well suited for the inspiring role she’s taken on.

Inkster, 30, is the CEO and founder of May Cause Radiance, a non-profit organization that supports young adults affected by cancer in B.C.

It’s a passion project for the Heffley Lake resident, who created the group in 2016 after being treated for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Before she was diagnosed, like many young adults, Inskter was living away from family, had a full-time job and mortgage, was soon to be married, and had hopes of having children.

Suddenly she was forced to question how much of this was still possible, and found most cancer support structures were geared primarily towards seniors.

“I was looking for a group to connect with,” Inkster said. “I was wondering, ‘how are other people my age doing this?’ Someone’s done this before and I want to talk to them and learn from them how they did it.”

Inspired by her own experience, Inkster launched May Cause Radiance to provide targeted support and facilitate conversations for 18 to 39-year-olds affected by cancer. Not only those undergoing treatment but also individuals in remission and those supporting a loved one through cancer.

Inkster said her goal is to take the load off the young adults even if they’re not physically dealing with it.

Today May Cause Radiance is rapidly expanding with ambassadors around the province and a growing list of personalised offerings provided to members.

“We aim to provide services that our medical system doesn’t acknowledge as a necessity, or cover,” Inkster said. “To make them feel a little better about themselves and maybe even a little more beautiful.”

The group arranges home cleaning services, yoga, scar tissue massage, and stocks fridges. It’s even purchased a prosthetic breast and eyebrow wigs, among many other things, according to Inkster.

“These little things that really go a long way in someone’s journey.”

It’s a truly holistic approach, which is what Elizabeth Beeds, creator of Interior Wellness, said she appreciates about May Cause Radiance.

May Cause Radiance at the Mountain Spirit Festival Gala on June 22. Photo Ashly Narula, The Spiritual Photographer

“I’ve never had such a group that was so involved and passionate about what they do, and their standing for holistic wellness and health for their participants,” she said.

Interior Wellness, based in Kamloops, named May Cause Radiance their charity of choice for the Mountain Spirit Festival hosted annually in Sun Peaks.

This year’s event, held June 21 to 23, raised $4,000 for the non-profit.

In addition to partnerships with groups like Interior Wellness, May Cause Radiance funds its programs through donations and the sale of handmade mala beads on its website,

Funds are not all the group relies on, though.

“We could only do what we do by people hearing us and seeing us, and sharing our story when they hear someone in their life is affected by cancer,” Inkster said. “So that, then, whenever they’re ready, they’ll get in touch with us. We’re here.”