A central Alberta woman battling lung cancer is searching for her son who was last seen in Victoria, B.C., on July 15, 2022.
Wanda Anderson of Pigeon Lake says her son Jayson Anderson, 51, who deals with addiction and has been homeless for over 10 years, went missing after a procedure at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria.
He was having something removed off his hand. Wanda said he spoke about feeling afraid of being in the hospital. He had been in constant communication with his mother before that.
Wanda was diagnosed with lung cancer in October, 2022, and while she is currently in stable condition, her own health lends more urgency to her search to find Jayson.
Always a charismatic personality, Jayson held high-end jobs in Vancouver before relapsing, she said.
When he moved to Victoria, she noticed a change in him; he seemed paranoid.
Although he was living on the streets, Wanda said he was always had good hygiene, with neat hair and clothes.
She said in a photo that was taken shortly before he disappeared, he looked like any other 50-year-old man.
“I don’t know how he managed, but he did.”
He was well-known to people in the community, and well liked, she said.
Jayson grew up in the Homeglen area and went to school in Rimbey.
According to Wanda, Jayson has had issues with drugs since he was 18 years old.
“He struggled all his life,” she said. “He was never able to get a grip on his life again.”
Shannon Boyce-Campbell of Ponoka County, and a couple of her friends who were also classmates of Jayson, recently spent a day in Victoria putting up posters, speaking to locals and trying to find any lead on Jayson.
“It means a lot,” said Wanda. “She’s been a rock.”
On March 19, lifelong friends Boyce-Campbell, Darla Hohn, and Dodi Farnham canvassed shelters, local charities and parks Jayson was known to frequent, hoping to find a trace of him.
The friends had been planning a getaway, and because Victoria was chosen, it only made sense to help out in the search for Jayson, said Boyce-Campbell.
The trio went to the Rock Bay Landing Shelter where he was known to stay at and Boyce-Campbell was able to speak to a friend of Jayson’s who said he still looks for Jayson everywhere he goes.
The man spoke about Jayson’s skills as a gardener and how he was a big help at the shelter with their green spaces.
Boyce-Campbell said the shelters are not permitted to comment on who stayed, or is staying at the shelter, but the patrons were keen to help and let the trio know where else they might want to put posters.
The ladies also went to Beacon Hill Park and The Mustard Seed.
Boyce-Campbell, who was a neighbour and friend of Jayson’s and remains connected to the family, explained that as a young person growing up in Ponoka County, Jayson was a “charismatic, warm and caring fellow.”
“His charm, contagious laugh and zest for life was sure to put you in a good mood,” said Boyce-Campbell.
“Neighbours, friends and classmates could easily attest to statements as he was a popular guy,” she said.
“Life gets complicated and time marches on, but he is loved and missed by many. If anyone is travelling that way this summer, has family in that area or can help share information via social media, please be sure to do so and keep Jayson and his family in mind.”
There is an open missing person’s file for Jayson in Victoria.
He is described as six feet tall, with a medium build, short brown hair and blue eyes.
Anyone with information about Jayson should contact the Victoria Police Department at 250-995-7654. To report anonymously, call Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
– With files from Hollie Ferguson, Black Press