March 21, 2012: known to most as the first day of spring. For me it is the day my best friend, Danielle, became a survivor.
It has been 2 ½ year since Dani stood in her kitchen and delivered the bomb: invasive lobular carcinoma. Thirty-five years young with a 5 year old and 13 month old at home. Since that day she has been in the ring, kicking the crap out of cancer; finding unimaginable strength through every round.
In the months that followed she had both of her breasts removed. She faced chemotherapy that almost killed her before 25 rounds of radiation. If that wasn’t enough, her ovaries were also removed. It anguished everyone around her.
When cancer is announced as someone’s opponent, it is not just the patient who is affected. Every single person around them becomes part of their team. As one of Dani’s cornermen, more often than not I felt helpless. I fluctuated between moments of sadness, shock, frustration, hurt, guilt, happiness, fear, excitement, jealousy, love, panic, pride, relief. Cancer sends everyone on an emotional roller coaster.
Today Dani is cancer free. She is my superhero. Two and a half years after being diagnosed, she is in the reconstruction phase of this journey. While she has handled things with humour, strength and courage, it has not been easy, on anyone.
Hockey Fights Cancer
When something horrific like cancer happens to someone so close to you, it never leaves you. There are days when I relive the entire nightmare, scene by scene. Knowing that I am doing my part in helping to find a cure helps though.
I am incredibly proud of my bestie for the fight she gave and continues to give. She is my inspiration for almost everything I do, including raising funds and awareness for cancer research.
On Thursday, October 30 the Ottawa Senators in partnership with the Ottawa Senators Foundation will do their part to help fight cancer. The goal of Hockey Fights Cancer is to raise money and awareness for national and local organizations involved in cancer care and research. All proceeds from the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative in Ottawa will see donations directed to the Ottawa Senators Foundation in support of the Canadian Cancer Society and prostate cancer research and awareness.
Who are you fighting for?
There are lots of ways to get involved in Hockey Fights Cancer this Wednesday.
Attend the game as the Sens take on the Blackhawks. Purchase tickets to the game using the promo code ”JointheFight”. A discount will be provided to fans and a portion of every sale will go to the Ottawa Senators Foundation.
At the game fans are encouraged to write the name of someone they know who has been affected by cancer. Fans will then be asked to stand and display their cards during a special opening ceremony that will see Senators general manager Bryan Murray, assistant coach Mark Reeds and Ottawa Senators Foundation board member Max Keeping drop the ceremonial face-off puck. Hey, maybe we can even do a little dance for Max?!
Donate.Text message SENS to 45678 for a $10 donation and SENATORS to 45678 for a $5 contribution. The NHL will match funds raised up to a total of $5,000.
There is a cure for this ugly disease; we just need to find it. Together, we can.
So tell me, who are you fighting for?2