Six weeks ago, when I thought about the Shoppers Drug Mart OneWalk to Conquer Cancer, it had not even occurred to me that my husband wouldn't be waiting for us at the finish line. He was fighting so hard to conquer his very aggressive lymphoma and by all accounts it seemed he was at least in partial remission.
The mission of #JustGive, to inspire the idea that giving can be simple, spontaneous and contagious, is something that I am really passionate about. Here are my top five fun, easy and totally free ideas that we can all incorporate into our daily lives that will have a "pay it forward" effect on our community.
Because my cancer was hormone-sensitive, I need to take a drug called Tamoxifen that is proven to reduce the risk of the cancer returning and possibly spreading to another part of my body. The newest recommendation is to stay on this drug for 10 years. Great news, right? A drug that could actually help keep me alive. I am lucky to have that option. Unfortunately, hormonal therapy for cancer comes with a whack of side effects. The biggest one for me is that I've been told not to get pregnant while taking it, due to its potential to cause birth defects.
At 23 years of age, Nasreen Sheikh radically redefines what it means to be a Nepali woman. She is a Sunni Muslim living in a predominately Hindu community and is the founder of a fair-trade sewing collective called Local Women's Handicrafts. Nasreen is an outlier in her community. Typically, most Nepali girls marry between the ages of 15 and 18. The pressure to have a married daughter began to increase with each year Nasreen remained single however, and in 2014, Nasreen's parents decided that they had to take action. For Nasreen, this arranged marriage would have meant the end of Local Women's Handicrafts.
People would pitch us whatever awesome thing they would do with money. Whoever won, would get the entire pot of cash, no strings attached. Awesome Shit Club was born. I thought that since our beer consumption encouraged the name and concept that the event would die or at least stay underground, but it's had the opposite effect.
When it comes to fighting brain tumours, having a strong and supportive team is the greatest weapon. I've been a social worker on the neurosurgery floor of a hospital for over 26 years. As one of the first people to have contact with a newly diagnosed brain tumour patient, I can attest that a strong network, a resilient team, is one of the greatest assets a patient, and their families, can equip themselves with as they begin this new chapter of their lives.
After a bout of severe vomiting following a few bites of food, she went to the ER and refused to leave until she got answers. She knew in her heart something was seriously wrong. After a series of tests, a gynaecologist arrived to break the news. It was indeed ovarian cancer. In fact, a tumour the size of a grapefruit was removed from her body.
Toppled piggy banks lay discarded on dressers. Couch cushions litter living room floors, the remains of an archaeological expedition for loose change. Cup holders in family cars across the country are missing coffee money. Youth across Canada have been busy collecting coins, especially pennies, and creating change.
One of my earliest memories as a child was going to Prince's Island Park in Calgary every June to walk The World Partnership Walk. Back then, I looked forward to it because we made it a family affair. I would head down to the park with my family and it seemed that in exchange for walking a mere 8 kilometers or so, I would receive a delicious chili lunch, have a chance to part in some fun activities, get my face painted and even come away with a few prizes (it was all well worth the stickers).
One Million Moms for Gun Control was created in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and helping them raise crucial funds is a Vancouver innovation. The word is spreading quickly, and not surprisingly social media playing a key role in raising awareness. Awareness is good, but funding is vital sustenance.
I sat down with Justin Hull, participating Mo Bro and founding member of the MOfficials, to discuss his team's involvement. The group is comprised of linesmen and referees from the Western Hockey League who have joined forces in an effort to raise $47,700. Their goal matches the number of Canadian men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011 and 2012.
Back-to-school season often means the return of door-to-door fundraisers hawking boxes of cookies, chocolates and other goods that have fuelled a $1.4-billion cottage industry. But executives behind Better the World, a for-profit social enterprise based in Toronto, hope to flip how Canadians give to charitable causes.
Charities today are actively looking for innovative ways to connect people to their causes. What is interesting is how much innovation is coming from outside the traditional charitable sector. We are learning that if a cause or a project matters to people, they want to be a part of it even if it is not connected to a known charity.
Wednesday, the Huffington Post picked up a blog post by Meghan Telpner, which described her impressions of the PinkNic. I'd like to correct some inaccuracies and share some information about the event and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. The CBCF is the leading community-driven organization in Canada dedicated to creating a future without breast cancer. Since our inception, we have invested some $274 million in our cause. We know much work remains to be done.