This is why I am walking:
In August 1994, 25 years ago, my father started having symptoms that something was seriously not right with his health.
My parents were returning from a cross border shopping trip, and he’d started to feel severe headaches and dizziness while on the trip.
Those were, of course, the symptoms that indicated he had an invasive cancerous tumour growing, putting pressure on his brain.
The symptoms of course worsened to the point of causing collapse from dizziness. Something akin to fainting. These symptoms led us to that knowledge he had cancer, and was the start of the cancer spreading that stole his entire body from him, and eventually him from us.
Imagine, a naive 20 something kid with an ‘indestructible dad’ now being required to carry him into the house!? He’d fallen onto the garage floor (or some location) and was not able to get up. I never got used to doing that! Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to help however I could, but this was hard to experience! I can only imagine how he felt.
Those were some of the darkest times in my life. I will NEVER forget it.
It was a few days before Halloween when they finally got him in for an MRI. They sent him to see his doctor immediatly after where they told him he required surgry ASAP or he would only have days to live because there was a large cancerous tumour on his brain. He came home that evening to be with his family instead of going immediatly to the hospital like the doctors wanted. The 5 of us had a family meeting and my dad was stoic. I can't imagine facing that at 43 years old.
He had his surgury and they waited about a week to tell him the cancer had already spread to several other organs. Lungs, Liver, Kidney, Lymph. There were more family meetings. Lots of phone calls to his sisters in California. Lots of pain and disccomfort. Lots of trips to CancerCare. Lots of appointments.
Then, on February 21st, 1994, 25 years ago, events took place that changed life as I knew it.
I had just quit at the Esso station in Dugald, having gotten a job as a Surplus shops employee at Princess Auto, which my dad was excited about.
We were coming home to Anola from Winnipeg, having bought some tools to support my new job.
My dad had been sick off and on but this morning he was feeling really good and wanted to go out for dinner to celebrate my new job which I was starting the following day.
As we (Denise and I) pulled into the driveway of my parents home, my dad was on the front stairs in his pyjamas, and bare feet which was odd considering it was well below zero outside.
I got out of the car, and asked if everything was ok... my dad’s answer was a terrified “No!”.
We ran to his side, along with my mother and brother, and we helped him to the ground not knowing he was dying in front of us! We called Zenith 90000 as 911 was not available this far into the country. There was literally nothing we could do, and an ambulance was 45 minutes away.
He had had an artery rupture and his lungs filled and he could not breathe. He had suffocated on our front stairs and we could do nothing but watch.
Love you, Dad!
That day we all grew up a whole lot, and realized nothing would be the same again.
That year Denise and I got married, bought out first home, I began my path at Princess Auto and we began our lives as adults. Many years have passed since then, and at 25 years we’re happy to take part in this CancerCare Manitoba Challenge for Life 20km walk to help raise money towards a cure for Cancer.
Even one more man, woman, or child is one too many! Thank you all for joining us on this journey of hope!
2019 marks 25 years since Cancer took my dad, John Young. I was barely an adult. I am now older then he was when he passed. He never got to meet his amazing granddaughter Sharleigh who is walking with us.
For him, we will walk.
We will walk for others as well - cancer has touched so many people in our lives. My father-in-law, John, is a survivor. Others that cancer has taken from us are Denise's Gramma West, Grampa Bircham, and Gram White. And the list would be so long if we started lisitng friends and extended family affected by it. We walk for those who have been taken & for those that have survived. We walk for those who have had to wait for test results to find out IF it is cancer. We walk for a cure, for early detection and for the amazing support that CancerCare provides to its patients.
Our original goal as a team was to raise $3000 which we have suprassed thanks to the support of all of our family, friends and coworkers. We are truly blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people. Our new goal is $5000 and we are so very close to hitting that one.
We welcome you to supprt us by clicking donate on this page, by walking with us on June 8th or by volenteering with Challenge for Life 2.0 on June 8th in one of the very many volunteer postions.
Thank you so much.
*****We hit $2020 today and Denise announced that if we raise $1000 by March 31st (bringing our team to $3020) she will shave her head! She will grow it long enough to be a donatable length so and then shave it.*****
***** UPDATE***** We hit $3020 so Dee will be shaving her head. We are looking at a target date of October 1st so she can grow her hair long enough to donate to Eva & Co Wigs who are a partner with BC Children's Hospital - Wigs for Kids Program. They accept hair with gray in it which is a requirement for Dee to donate.
I am so grateful for the support we have had from everyone around us. I am excited that my neice, Shar, and my sister-in-law, Chris, have joined our team and will be walking with us on June 8th and that we have a great support team in Lorraine & George as we do our walk.
Default Message from CancerCare Manitoba:
We are taking the Challenge at CancerCare Manitoba's Challenge for Life – because we can!
CancerCare Manitoba is the provincially mandated cancer agency for all of Manitoba, charged with the responsibility for cancer prevention, detection, treatment, research and education. CancerCare Manitoba is dedicated to excellence in cancer care, to enhancing the quality of life for those diagnosed and living with cancer and blood disorders and to improving the control of cancer for all Manitobans.
Our goal is to prevent every cancer we can; those we cannot prevent we strive to detect early and those we do not detect early, we treat with the best available options. CancerCare Manitoba is committed to continuous learning and improvement through world-class research.
The CancerCare Manitoba Foundation is the only organization exclusively fundraising for CancerCare Manitoba. While CancerCare Manitoba works in partnership with Manitoba Health, some programs and services may not be eligible for government funding. CancerCare Manitoba Foundation raises funds to bridge this gap and help deliver the best research, patient care, treatment and support for all Manitobans and their families living with cancer.
By participating in this annual “Made-in-Manitoba” event, we have committed to help reduce my own risk of cancer by taking steps to improve my overall health. We are also individually committing to raise at least $500 to support CancerCare Manitoba - and all those who cannot walk.
Join us in the Challenge – either by registering to Walk It or Work It or by supporting us with a donation. We'll do it together.... because we can!