In May 2018, I'll be participating in a month-long fitness fundraising challenge that will have me lunging, squatting and downward dogging with hundreds of others across the province who have committed to make a serious impact in the effort to conquer cancer.
I'm going to Workout every day in May to improve the lives of all who are impacted by cancer. With your support, we will make a significant contribution to the world-class research conducted by the clinicians and scientists at BC Cancer. Their work provides exciting new evidence that is changing the way cancer is prevented, detected and treated.
I started working at the BC Cancer Foundation over 5 years ago. On my very first day, I sat down at my desk, and there was a sign covering my computer screen which read "WELCOME DANA". It was written using florescent markers, surrounded by swirls and flowers. I soon learned that this sign was made by my colleague Dani. I also soon learned that this bright and stunning sign was such a perfect representation of Dani's personality. Dani managed the Inspiration Gala, one of the events that I am so honoured to manage now. She did this with such grace and passion. She was so well respected, and soon became my BCCF mentor. She taught me to use much more polished language in my minutes, she taught me to write in capital letters to get my manager's attention, she taught me to save any nice email I ever received for my annual review, she taught me almost everything I know now about auctions, and most of all, she taught me to live fully and generously with passion and joy. Dani's best friend was her husband Jacob, she loved him with all her heart and it was so totally apparent. Dani and I would chat about marriage and dating, and her future plans about having children. We had many late nights in the office, working hard, and laughing hysterically. I will never forget Dani chassé-ing down our little hallway in celebration for a Bust a Move milestone achievement. I will never forget the "Dani Dance" which you can see here! Dani truly was a bright light in countless people's lives. One thing I will also never forget was Dani's cough. Dani would cough anytime she started laughing too hard. It was getting really bad, so I'm fairly certain it was Jacob who forced her to get it checked out. After my first Inspiration Gala, Dani started to see a doctor to figure out what was going on. Shortly thereafter, she was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the stomach lining. It had also spread to her ovaries. The months following were scary, yet hopeful, yet terrifying and heartbreaking. Dani passed away on June 16, 2014 at the age of 31. She had a full life ahead of her. She is missed every single day. Tragically, this is not the only loss I have experienced due to cancer. Last year we lost my aunt to lung cancer, and a close friend of the Foundation. Thankfully, I have also experienced triumph. My dad is a prostate cancer survivor, my mom's best friend is a breast cancer survivor, another good friend of my mom's is an esophageal cancer survivor, and I know two event profs who are in their journey and overcoming. To quote someone I respect, "Cancer research has worked, and is working, but it's not working for everyone yet".
Please consider a donation to my fundraising efforts for the BC Cancer Foundation.
So, as I lace up my shoes, fill up my water bottle and get ready to lunge, laugh and stretch my way through a full month of workouts, please support my efforts by making a donation today.
Thank you for helping me to make my workouts pack the most punch!