Research and Community.
Firstly, let me set you straight right off the start. I hate running. I am not a runner, nor have I ever been. Nor do I someday promise myself or anyone else that I will try to be a runner. I am a happy walker and yoga lover so let's just stick to that. So, often over the years there have been so many "runs for cancer" that it becomes overwhelming to even choose one to donate to let alone run/walk in. However, after my Mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2012, the Terry Fox Run became rather important to us. The kids ran at their local school and the course passed right by our house. My Mom was in the middle of radiation therapy and I asked her if she would like to watch the kids do their run. So we bundled her up at the end of the driveway in a camping chair with blankets and tea and she high fived the students as they ran by. My kids were running for "Nana" and a few of their friends were running for "Owen's Nana" or "Maddy's Nana".
Yes. So darn precious.
Fast forward to last year, I had just started radiation therapy and our family was invited to join a team for the Terry Fox Run in my hometown of Uxbridge. A big shout out to Jen C. who invited me! Without that special thought, I would have passed on the run for sure. I was feeling super tired, not just physically, but mentally as well. At that moment in time, I hated cancer. I wanted to quit radiation and stop all my meds. Basically I wanted out! I wanted to quit cancer! I was done. Thankfully my "team" of family, friends and cheerleaders kept me going. I knew deep down that representation was really important for our family. So, I dug deep. I wanted my kids and my friends to know how much community means to me as a cancer patient. I knew this was a way that my family and friends could physically and financially DO something towards helping cancer patients.
"Actively, coming together as a community can be a huge source of inspiration for a cancer patient"
For me it was just that. As a daughter, I watched my Mom get through treatment, but it feels so very helpless. When you have a friend or a loved one going through cancer treatment, you just feel helpless. You wish you could do more. But you can't. What you CAN do is be a cheerleader, provide comfort and support for the person going through treatments. The person going through the treatment just has to do their best to get through it. No magical recipe. Just surviving treatment is enough.
As I went through active treatment for most of 2017, I reflected often on how this disease was affecting those around me. Providing support for them was also a really important part of our cancer journey.
Today, I was humbled and grateful to be a part of the opening ceremonies and share some of my story at the Terry Fox Run in Uxbridge. What a blessing! I was able to share what research and support have meant to me personally and to us as a family.
To all of you who joined in a walk/run somewhere, made a donation or simply held space for us as walkers/runners, I thank you. From the bottom of my heart I thank you. I was well enough to walk with my friends and family on a beautiful day in September to honour all of those who have been touched by cancer. I hope Terry would be filled with joy to know that his legacy lives on.
With all my love to you,