Editor’s note: The late Robin Mercer-Sproule’s wife, Traci, requested that this letter from Robin be reproduced. It appeared in the May 20 issue of Yellowknifer.

Like sports: you are in a game, you may be winning or you may be losing, but the whole time you never give up. You give it your best the whole game, you are not going to give in and stop playing because you may be losing. The passion to try and win is still there and you have to go out and do your best and hope for the best outcome. Another is staying positive. I stayed as positive as I could, but whatever the outcome was, I can honestly say “I am a winner even if I lost the battle, I won because I never gave up.

I am sorry I am not here anymore, but I do have some important thank yous to mention:

My oncologist Dr. Sanjar K Basi, MD, FRCPC – the Cross-Cancer Institute in Edmonton.

My chemo team in Yellowknife who were so amazing and felt like family, including  Dr. Mansouri, an amazing doctor who continued with me even after I was done chemo and let me be me and cry or whatever, but listened to me when I needed it; Dr. Leitch, also an amazing doctor; my beautiful nurses June, Michelle, Bonnie, Alyssa and Claire who went above and beyond to make sure I was going to be OK, they treated Traci and I like gold.

To the homecare team that took care of me while at home, as well as friends of ours that are nurses, i.e. Karen Brown, Heather Redshaw, plus many others, thank you.

Pim Wangyao, left, Robin Mercer-Sproule and Grace Lau-a stand together after competing in the playoff to determine the women’s champion in The Last Gasp tournament in 2018. Mercer-Sproule lost her battle with cancer on May 16 but leaves behind a legacy that won’t ever be forgotten.
photo courtesy of Shaun Morris

Very important: my amazing dad and sister and my late mom Jean, who have seen my life as I grew and who helped shape me to be the person I became. Love you both so much! To my extended family from all parts of Canada and the world you also so graciously provided me with support!

Also very important: to my wife Traci, your enduring love and support was truly amazing, I applaud you for your strength and grace along the “journey” but also for the amazing time we had together – I will always love you, babe! To my grown kids Jaycee and Jared, be good, love your mom lots and please take care of her and your nana.

To the City of Yellowknife and the great citizens of the community of Yellowknife, you guys don’t know how much you helped me with the fight and I can’t thank you enough for your support!

To the departments of Municipal and Community Affairs and Lands, thank you for the many years of working with you! I met some amazing colleagues, had a great respect for the job I did, and I believe that I worked hard at all positions I held. I wish I could name you all but of course the list would go on and on.

To my many little groups over the past while that have helped me so greatly, but just brought me lots of laughs and smiles:

The Enns Family: Toni, Mike, Haylee and Dawson, you treated me like family and I can’t thank you enough for everything that you did for me over the many years we have known each other.

Toni, I don’t have words to say as there are so many, just know that you were the bestest and I love you. Mike thanks for your friendship, golf partner and just you (my big Teddy Bear) love you! Haylee you are one smart and special young lady and keep up your piercings and in whatever you do, love you. Dawson, I watched you grow up from a baby to a very kind and amazing young man. I am so proud of you for graduating this year 2020.

Robin Mercer-Sproule, left, has her hand raised triumphantly by Alfred Moses, Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, after she was inducted into the athletes category of the NWT Sport Hall of Fame at the Explorer Hotel on Nov. 23.
James McCarthy/NNSL photo

The Girlband: Tracy Riley, Tamara Latimer, Toni Riley, Rosalie Blair and Maggie Saunders, you ladies made band practice lots of fun and it was fun getting back on the drums after being away from it for so long. But most importantly we were all awesome friends and I thank you as well for all that you did for Traci and I.

Didi Normandin and Carolyn Badcock – Thank you for your years of friendship and all the help and support you gave Traci and I through this journey

The Grad Girls: Heather Redshaw, Gail Nesbitt, Lana Babiuk-Laroque, Maureen Miller, Sharon Cormier, Cecile Beemer, Melinda Harris, Michele Edson, Sandy Lee, Shara Haggett-Shupe, Juanetta Sandeson, Amy Slaven Floyd. Sorry if I missed anyone. Thank you for everything you all did for Traci and I, but also for the fun dinners and shows and reminiscing about the good ole days and laughing


YK Robins

Yellowknife Women’s Hockey Association (now YK Robins: Sorry but too many to name here, but thank you for all that you have done for the league to keep it going and growing but most importantly for all the friendships that I made over the years playing hockey.

Raven Dirty Birds (Pool Team): thank you for all the great years of playing and laughing. Leslie Goit, Danielle Hawes, Valerie Stuparyk, Evelyn Ray, Val Watsyk, Hellen Leaman, Rob Marshall, Bacon, Colton Sangris and Ricky Goit.

I also have to thank the YK Minor Hockey Assoc., YK Rec League and YK Old Timers Assoc. Thank you so much for everything and for the many years playing in these leagues. Thank you for accepting me for my ability and not for my gender.

Sport North: thank you Doug Rentmeister and Bill Othmer for the great years that Sport North was in my life and which continued after. I was so honoured to represent the NWT and (Nunavut when it was included) to have the opportunity to participate in local, territorial, national and international events. Thank you for inducting me into the NWT Sports Hall of Fame, that was so very humbling and I was so honoured.

To all the amazing Sports Associations who also were a big part of my life and can’t name all the individuals and teams etc, but thank you for your support: Broomball, Softball, Basketball, Volleyball, Inuit Games, YK Ski Club, and to so many more organizations that I belonged to!

YK Golf Association: thank you Cole Marshal for all that you did for me these past few years at the Club and of course your friendship.

Mediocre Golf Association: Shaun Moose Morris and Hughie Graham for all of your hard work with the league, but thank you for your friendship.

YK Vet Clinic: thank you Dr. Hughes and team for taking such good care of my lil man Harley over the years and being so gentle and kind to him.

My Aboriginal Healer: thank you for trying to help me! You did help bring peace and serenity into my life which I truly needed as I struggled with what was going on with me and to know that I will be OK.

I had amazing support from friends across the NWT, Nunavut, Canada, USA, and internationally – thank you so much for not only being friends but for your support as well!

Lots of love from Heaven above.


Robin Mercer-Sproule


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1 Comment

  1. Such amazing strength and admirable grace. Even gone from us she proves herself a hero

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