Alumnus Highlight

Name:  Danielle Buchanan

Feb 2015 highlight

Kwantlen Program: BA Psychology

Grad Year: 2012

Employed as: Community Engagement Specialist with Ride to Conquer Cancer

Employer website:


What are your primary responsibilities at your job:

Cancer is why I am here. It’s an unwanted, uninhibited disease - it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from - cancer has no bias. How many people can say they haven’t been affected by cancer personally, in any way shape or form? It’s a shame to say, but it seems more and more that cancer has become more of a rule rather than an exception. I’m with the Ride to Conquer Cancer because I too am part of the rule and not the exception.

I would like to share a story and the reason why I am involved with this organization. I am a cancer survivor and I have had the honour of riding my bike with a yellow flag attached to it for the past two years. The yellow flag symbolizes that I have either had cancer or am currently battling it.

In addition to this, I lost my father to prostate cancer over a year ago. He was my No. 1 fan and was able to cheer us on all along the 2013 ride. My sister, my dad and I called ourselves the Three Musketeers –there was nothing we couldn’t achieve. We lived together, worked together and even travelled together. My sister and I decided to ride last June in honour of my dad. I must say this ride is so much more than a ride; it is a life-changing event with the common purpose of finding a cure for cancer!

The passion, the purpose of our ride is many, but fundamentally it is to raise needed funds for research to conquer cancer. Since its inception in 2009, the Ride to Conquer Cancer has raised nearly $60 million. Last year alone, the riders raised $ 9.1 million for cancer research.

I am hired to share my story and passion for the ride and get other people of all athletic abilities signed up. This ride is truly for anyone and everyone!


What is your favourite part of your work?

Talking with beautiful, caring and courageous people every single day!


How do you like to unwind/handle stress?

I like to ride my bike while singing with my sister or running along the seawall


Who is the most famous person you've ever met?

Robin Williams- He was filming Jumanji on my street and took the time out of filming to sign autographs for my sister and I and talk to us.


If you had a time machine and could have lunch with anyone living or dead, who would it be?

My dad, I miss him every day.


Where does your inspiration come from?

My father, my hero.


Where do you see yourself in one, five or 10 years?

I see myself making a lot of noise about cancer research and helping make a difference right here in British Columbia.


What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of living my best life. Of being a positive role model in my life. I volunteer with a young girls’ group called Sole Girls, where we instill confidence and also make being active fun.


Greatest advice for life?

“Everyone has a story… make yours worth reading”-Sam Thiara

“Find the extraordinary in the ordinary”


Favourite Kwantlen moment?

Being able to attend a Leadership Conference there! It was truly inspiring. Sam Thiara was the keynote speaker and it was truly effective.


What's the last book you read?

Sam Thiara’s first book


What's currently on your iPod?

Walking on Sunshine