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Community Involvement

Dr. Mark Johnston with the members of team NS Strong.
Dr. Mark Johnston with the members of team NS Strong.
Mike and Heidi King and their children Brett and Brynn - ©King Family
Mike and Heidi King and their children Brett and Brynn – ©King Family

Doubling Down on Donation Drive

Valley Businessman giving boost to summertime cycling fundraiser for childhood cancer research.

By: Carole Morris-Underhill (

The owner of a Valley-based clinical research and psychology firm was so moved by a Hantsport’s teen’s fundraiser that he’s looking to donate thousands to help combat childhood cancer.

And, he’s challenging fellow Nova Scotians to do the same.

Mark Johnston, the owner and medical director of Centricity Research and True North Psychological Services, said he will match, dollar for dollar, funds raised by Brett King between July  5 and August 31.

“Rather than just donate, what I’d like to do is say “hey, if somebody else donates $1, we’ll match that dollar,” said Johnstons.

“The idea is to try to spur more people to donate.”

He’s prepared to donate up to $10,000.

Brett King, a grade 10 student at Horton High School, signed up for the Breakaway Cycling Adventure for Kids with Cancer fundraiser earlier this year. He’s doing so in memory of his mother, Heidi King, who died May 18 due to esophageal cancer. AS a child, she had successfully battled neuroblastoma.

King was invited to join Breakaway Cycling Adventure for Kids with Cancer by his Horton High School Grade 12 friend Mark Wilkie, who also lives in Hantsport. Joining them on the NS Strong team is Asa Hood, of Port Williams. Wilkie battled childhood cancer and participated in the challenge last year.…..Read More

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Annapolis Valley company’s matching challenge leads to huge success for Make-A-Wish radiothon

An Annapolis Valley family that was touched by Make-A-Wish has paid forward the support that was shown to them – in what turned out to be a big way. Centricity Research medical director Mark Johnston said his son, Ewan Johnston, was diagnosed with metastatic cancer three years ago on Dec. 21. Ewan was 15 years old at the time. The Port Williams resident said his son’s diagnosis would have been fatal five years earlier, but fortunately, he received some cutting-edge therapy and Ewan won his battle. He’s now been cancer-free for two-and-a-half years. Johnston said he knew a little about the Children’s Wish Foundation (which has since amalgamated with and is now known as Make-A-Wish Canada) at the time of his son’s diagnosis but he wasn’t intimately familiar with the charitable organization. That would soon change. In December 2018, a year to the day after Ewan was diagnosed, his wish of a family vacation to Atlantis in the Bahamas was granted… Read More

True North Clinical Research supports the Caleb’s Courage Fund

Centricity Research supports the Caleb’s, Courage Fund

A cancer diagnosis in Dr. Mark Johnston’s family was the inspiration behind a $25,000 donation to the Caleb’s Courage Fund, from Centricity Research.

After hearing about Caleb’s Courage and the work that is being done in Cape Breton, Johnston, who has been practicing psychiatry for over 15 years and is the principal investigator at Centricity Research, a research company based in Halifax and New Minas, decided his business wanted to help sick children in Cape Breton… Read More