As I got older and went back to my love of running, I also went back to my my Mom’s passing. A lot of the feelings I think I should have felt after she passed were suppressed and well, I was just too young to either feel them, acknowledge them, and to know what questions to ask.
And I had SO many questions. I connected with cancer causes, did my own research, and talked to my biology and sociology profs and TAs about cancer issues, focusing many of my papers on things cancer-related.
I started to really realize how huge it was that this thing, losing my mother, in my early age, and her in her mid-forties, impacted my life. I started to hate it. I hated that my memories were vague, that I didn’t know her voice, and also often wondered if there were parts of me that were growing to look like her parts, only I had no idea what her parts looked like. A 5-year old doesn’t really focus on those things.
The biggest thing that bothered me was that kids everywhere were losing their mothers at age 5 too. It wasn’t just me. And so I decided that I wanted to do something about it. I decided to host a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society, and along with family members and close friends, and my boyfriend, we shed our hair for a cause.
I continued my research and got more acquainted with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada. They answered so many questions and took interest in my interest to volunteer. They asked me if I was interested in being part of the Team in Training program, which honours and supports blood cancer patients through endurance sports. Having my eye on running a full marathon at some point in my life, I decided to go for it. I was going to volunteer, but I was also going to train. They equipped me so well with a great team, a mentor and a coach.